The Treasurer [on Tue 3.3.2015] announced that Australia and Switzerland have agreed to increase cooperation to tackle tax evasion. Mr Hockey said the countries have “agreed to take another step in the fight against evasion and automatically exchange information with Switzerland based on the OECD’s common reporting standard (CRS).”

Under the agreement, the ATO will automatically receive details of financial accounts such as investment income and balances, that Australians hold in Switzerland, and use it to check against the income declared in Australian tax returns. The Swiss Federal Tax Administration will receive details of Swiss residents that hold financial accounts in Australia. “Previously hidden offshore income will be exposed. There will be nowhere to hide,” said Mr Hockey.

The Treasurer also said today’s announcement also covers financial services cooperation. “Australia and Switzerland will explore opportunities to improve provision of financial services between our 2 countries”, he said.

Mr Hockey said Australia and Switzerland are to implement the CRS from 2017, and first exchange information in 2018.

Over 90 other jurisdictions have committed to implement the CRS according to a timeline agreed by the G20.

Source: Treasurer’s media release, 3 March 2015

[LTN 41, 3/3/15] [IT 3/3/15]

FJM Comment

The Treasurer’s media release – here.