India has obtained the second set of Swiss bank account details of its nationals and entities beneath the automatic exchange of knowledge pact with Switzerland, marking a key milestone within the authorities’s struggle towards black cash allegedly stashed overseas.
India is among the many 86 nations with which Switzerland’s Federal Tax Administration (FTA) has exchanged info on monetary accounts throughout the framework of worldwide requirements on AEOI this 12 months.
India had obtained the primary set of details from Switzerland in September 2019 beneath AEOI (Automatic Exchange of Information), when it concerned 75 nations.
The info exchange this 12 months concerned practically 3.1 million (31 lakh) monetary accounts, FTA stated in an announcement on Friday. The variety of such accounts was comparable in 2019.
While the assertion didn’t explicitly identify India among the many 86 nations, officers informed PTI that India is among the many distinguished nations with which Switzerland has shared details about monetary accounts of shoppers of Swiss banks and varied different monetary establishments.
The officers additional stated a “sizeable number” pertains to Indian residents and entities within the general exchange of details about over three million monetary accounts by Switzerland this 12 months with 86 nations.
Besides, Swiss authorities have already shared details about greater than 100 Indian residents and entities previously one 12 months on receipt of requests for administrative help in circumstances involving probes into monetary wrongdoings together with tax evasion, the officers added.
These circumstances principally relate to older accounts which may have been closed earlier than 2018, for which Switzerland has shared details with India beneath an earlier framework of mutual administrative help as Indian authorities had offered prima facie proof of tax-related wrongdoing by these account holders. AEOI is relevant solely to accounts which are energetic or had been closed throughout 2018.
Some of those circumstances relate to entities set up by Indians in varied abroad jurisdictions like Panama, British Virgin Islands and Cayman Islands, whereas the people embrace principally businessmen and some politicians and erstwhile royals in addition to their members of the family.
The officers, nonetheless, refused to share details concerning the precise variety of accounts or the quantum of property held within the accounts held by Indians, for which the data has been shared with India, citing strict confidentiality clauses governing the exchange framework.
The info shared by Swiss authorities embrace identification, account and monetary info, comparable to identify, deal with, nation of residence and tax identification quantity, in addition to info in regards to the reporting monetary establishment, account steadiness and capital earnings.
The exchanged info will enable tax authorities to confirm whether or not taxpayers have accurately declared their monetary accounts of their tax returns. The subsequent exchange would happen in September 2021.
In its assertion, FTA stated the 86 nations coated beneath the AEOI this 12 months embrace 11 new jurisdictions — Anguilla, Aruba, Bahamas, Bahrain, Grenada, Israel, Kuwait, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Panama and the United Arab Emirates — along with the present checklist of 75 nations, with whom info was shared final 12 months.
Further, FTA stated the exchange of knowledge this 12 months has been reciprocal with 66 nations. In the case of 20 nations, Switzerland obtained info however didn’t present any, both as a result of these nations don’t but meet the worldwide necessities on confidentiality and knowledge safety (9 nations) or as a result of they selected to not obtain knowledge (11 nations).
A complete of 38 nations will provide their knowledge to Switzerland in accordance with the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (Global Forum) by December 31, 2020. These nations have claimed technical difficulties because of the COVID-19 disaster.
Switzerland’s first such exchange befell on the finish of September 2018 and concerned 36 nations, however India didn’t determine within the checklist at the moment.
Currently, round 8,500 reporting monetary establishments (banks, trusts, insurers, and many others) are registered with FTA. These establishments collected the information and transferred it to FTA. The depend has elevated from about 7,500 final 12 months.
fta despatched info on round 3.1 million monetary accounts to the accomplice states and obtained info on round 8,15,000 monetary accounts from them.
fta additionally stated it can’t present any info on the quantity of monetary property.
Switzerland has dedicated itself to undertake the worldwide customary for the worldwide automatic exchange of knowledge in tax issues. the authorized foundation for the implementation of aeoi in Switzerland got here into power on January 1, 2017.
This is the second time that India has obtained details from swiss authorities beneath aeoi framework, which gives for the exchange of knowledge on monetary accounts, presently energetic in addition to these accounts that had been closed throughout 2018, the 12 months during which the framework settlement grew to become efficient.
However, AEOI solely pertains to accounts which are formally within the identify of Indians they usually may embrace these used for enterprise and different real functions.
The Global Forum of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development evaluations AEOI implementation.
According to specialists, the information obtained by India will be fairly helpful for establishing a powerful prosecution case towards those that have any unaccounted wealth, because it gives whole details of deposits and transfers in addition to of all earnings, together with by investments in securities and different property.
On situation of anonymity, a number of officers stated the details relate principally to businessmen, together with non-resident Indians now settled in a number of South-East Asian nations in addition to within the US, the UK and even some African and South American nations.
A Swiss delegation was in India in August final 12 months earlier than the primary set of details might get shared and the 2 sides additionally mentioned attainable steps to expedite the execution of tax information-sharing requests made by India in particular circumstances.
It is feared many Indians may need closed their accounts after a worldwide crackdown on black cash led to Switzerland buckling beneath worldwide strain to open its banking sector for scrutiny to clear the long-held notion of Swiss banks being protected haven for undisclosed funds.
Switzerland agreed to AEOI with India after an extended course of, together with a evaluate of the required authorized framework in India on knowledge safety and confidentiality.