Black money: India, Switzerland ink deal for data sharing from 1 January

The deal between India and Switzerland allows automatic sharing of tax-related information from 1 January 2018

PTI
Updated21 Dec 2017
The data sharing agreement was signed by CBDT chairman Sushil Chandra and Swiss ambassador to India Andreas Baum at the North Block in New Delhi. Photo: PTI
The data sharing agreement was signed by CBDT chairman Sushil Chandra and Swiss ambassador to India Andreas Baum at the North Block in New Delhi. Photo: PTI

New Delhi: In a move aimed at combating black money stashed abroad, India has signed an agreement with Switzerland that would allow automatic sharing of tax-related information from 1 January 2018, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said Thursday.

“With the completion of the parliamentary procedure in Switzerland and signing of mutual agreement, India and Switzerland are set for automatic exchange of information for the period beginning 1 January, 2018,” the CBDT said. The policy-making body for the income tax department said the agreement was signed by CBDT chairman Sushil Chandra and Swiss ambassador to India Andreas Baum at the North Block in New Delhi.

A joint declaration for the implementation of automatic exchange of information (AEOI) was signed in November between the two sides in India, and it provided that both countries would start collecting data in accordance with the global standards in 2018 and exchange it from 2019 onwards.

While Switzerland has conformed to the global standards on automatic exchange of information with the signing of the declaration, India, on its part, has promised to safeguard the confidentiality of the data.

“It will now be possible for India to receive from September 2019 onwards, the financial information of accounts held by Indian residents in Switzerland for 2018 and subsequent years, on an automatic basis,” the government earlier said.

Switzerland, which has always been at the centre of the debate on black money allegedly stashed by Indians abroad, used to be known for very strong secrecy walls till a few years ago around its banking practices. A huge global pressure has resulted in Switzerland relenting on the tough secrecy clauses its local laws gave to the banks.

People close to the development said that several information requests on details about Indians who had accounts in Swiss banks were still pending. The automatic exchange of information conforms to a norm set by global economic body he Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for tax transparency.

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