The third set of Swiss bank details of Indians under an automatic information exchange pact with Switzerland will be revealed this month, officials told the PTI news agency. It is for the first time that the data will include details of real estate properties held by Indians there. This could be seen as a key step in the Indian government’s fight against black money allegedly hidden abroad. According to officials, India will obtain comprehensive information on Indian-owned apartments, flats and condominiums in Switzerland as well as the income derived from these properties to help it review the tax liabilities associated with these assets.
WHAT THIS MEANS
- India receiving the third set of Swiss bank details carries significance from Switzerland, as the European Alpine nation strives to reposition itself as a key global financial hub while warding off the long-term perception that the Swiss banking system is a suspected haven for black money.
- Although this is the third time that India will obtain details of bank accounts and other financial assets held by Indians in Switzerland, it will be the first time that the information shared with India will include information on assets. real estate.
- However, there is something that remains outside the boundaries of the automatic information exchange framework. This includes information on contributions to non-profit organizations and other similar foundations, as well as details on investments in digital currencies.
- Experts say the move would help dispel misconceptions that all inflows into Swiss assets are illicit and go a long way to making Switzerland a preferred investment destination, including for real estate.
- Starting this year, the Swiss Federal Council, the country’s highest governing body, decided to implement a key recommendation of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, under which Swiss authorities will also share details of investments made by foreigners in the Swiss real estate sector. However, some other recommendations from the Global Forum, including sharing information on digital currency accounts and contributions to foundations and nonprofits, are yet to be agreed upon and therefore these details would not be included. shared by Switzerland with India or any other country. for the moment. Intense lobbying is underway around the world to convince Switzerland to start sharing information about digital currency accounts and contributions made to non-profit entities as well.
- In each of the past two years, Switzerland has shared details of almost three million financial accounts with various jurisdictions, while the number is expected to be higher this year. Over the past two years, India has been among the leading countries with which Switzerland has shared financial account details of customers of Swiss banks and various other financial institutions, while it is also expected to be listed in good place this year when it comes to real estate details. .
- India had received the first set of details from Switzerland under the AEOI (automatic exchange of information) in September 2019. It was among 75 countries to get such information that year. In September 2020, India received the second set of Swiss bank details of its nationals and entities, along with 85 other recipient countries with which the Swiss Federal Tax Administration (FCA) exchanged financial account information in the framework of global EAR standards last year.
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