Win for Modi government - India receives information on Swiss-bank accounts


For years now, Indians have been listening to the same thing over and over- A lot of money has been stashed in Swiss bank and soon it will return home. And, now it seems India has finally taken the right step in this direction as the Switzerland government has shared information about bank accounts of Indians, PTI reported on Monday. Here's more.



Details Information about both active and closed bank accounts was shared

This is the first time ever when India has received information, which will embolden the country's war against black money.

India is among 75 countries with which Switzerland's Federal Tax Administration (FTA) shared the data.

FTA acted under the framework of Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) which underlines that information about active bank accounts, and those closed in 2018, must be shared.



Plans Swiss officials visited India in August for discussions

The next tranche of information will be shared in September 2020, an official of FTA told the agency.

Notably, Live Mint had reported in September that Swiss officials visited India in August and discussed steps to "expedite execution of tax information-sharing requests," which India made.

Regulatory and government officials said extra focus would be given to accounts that have political links.



Promise Data about account numbers and credit balance was shared

Reportedly, Switzerland had promised to share account numbers, credit balance and details of the financial income of Indians who opened accounts there.

"Switzerland applies the international transparency standards and therefore actively supports India in its fight against tax fraud and evasion," Switzerland's Federal Department of Finance (FDF) said last month.

Interestingly, "confidentiality provisions" will be applied to details that India received.



Deal To recall, both countries inked the deal in 2016

To note, India and Switzerland had signed the deal which facilitated this exchange of information in 2016.

The deal had underlined that India would receive information about accounts existing from September 2018.

"It will be possible for India to receive from September, the financial information of accounts held by Indian residents in Switzerland for 2018 and subsequent years," the finance ministry had said then.



Data protection Agreeing to send information, banks said it wanted "secrecy"

Pertinently, Switzerland crumbled under global pressure and decided to reveal information about account holders, doing away with secrecy which has been the norm for decades.

The Association of Swiss Private Banks had said it's concerned about data protection.

"If data received from another country has been misused in a jurisdiction, Switzerland is unlikely to send data to that jurisdiction," the body said in 2017.

 

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