To help curb black money, India gets the 2nd set of Swiss bank account details
India has obtained the second set of Swiss checking account particulars of its nationals and entities below the automated trade 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 data on monetary accounts throughout the framework of world requirements on AEOI this yr.
India had obtained the primary set of particulars from Switzerland in September 2019 below AEOI (Automated Alternate of Info), when it concerned 75 nations.
The data trade this yr concerned practically 3.1 million (31 lakh) monetary accounts, FTA stated in a press release on Friday. The variety of such accounts was related in 2019.
Whereas the assertion didn’t explicitly identify India among the many 86 nations, officers informed information company PTI that India is among the many outstanding nations with which Switzerland has shared particulars about monetary accounts of shoppers of Swiss banks and varied different monetary establishments.
The officers additional stated a “sizeable quantity” pertains to Indian residents and entities within the general trade of details about over three million monetary accounts by Switzerland this yr with 86 nations.
In addition to, Swiss authorities have already shared details about greater than 100 Indian residents and entities previously one yr on receipt of requests for administrative help in circumstances involving probes into monetary wrongdoings together with tax evasion, the officers added.
These circumstances largely relate to older accounts that may have been closed earlier than 2018, for which Switzerland has shared particulars with India below an earlier framework of mutual administrative help as Indian authorities had supplied prima facie proof of tax-related wrongdoing by these account holders. AEOI is relevant solely to accounts which might be energetic or had been closed throughout 2018.
A few of these circumstances relate to entities arrange by Indians in varied abroad jurisdictions like Panama, British Virgin Islands and Cayman Islands, whereas the people embody largely businessmen and some politicians and erstwhile royals in addition to their members of the family.
The officers, nevertheless, refused to share particulars concerning the actual variety of accounts or the quantum of belongings held within the accounts held by Indians, for which the knowledge has been shared with India, citing strict confidentiality clauses governing the trade framework.
The data shared by Swiss authorities embody identification, account and monetary data, reminiscent of identify, tackle, nation of residence and tax identification quantity, in addition to data regarding the reporting monetary establishment, account steadiness and capital earnings.
The exchanged data will enable tax authorities to confirm whether or not taxpayers have accurately declared their monetary accounts of their tax returns. The subsequent trade would happen in September 2021.
In its assertion, FTA stated the 86 nations lined below the AEOI this yr embody 11 new jurisdictions — Anguilla, Aruba, Bahamas, Bahrain, Grenada, Israel, Kuwait, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Panama and the United Arab Emirates — along with the prevailing checklist of 75 nations, with whom data was shared final yr.
Additional, FTA stated the trade of knowledge this yr has been reciprocal with 66 nations. Within the case of 20 nations, Switzerland obtained data however didn’t present any, both as a result of these nations don’t but meet the worldwide necessities on confidentiality and information safety (9 nations) or as a result of they selected to not obtain information (11 nations).
A complete of 38 nations will provide their information to Switzerland in accordance with the International Discussion board on Transparency and Alternate of Info for Tax Functions (International Discussion board) by December 31, 2020. These nations have claimed technical difficulties because of the COVID-19 disaster.
Switzerland’s first such trade occurred on the finish of September 2018 and concerned 36 nations, however India didn’t determine within the checklist at the moment.
At present, 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 rely has elevated from about 7,500 final yr.
FTA despatched data on round 3.1 million monetary accounts to the companion states and obtained data on round 8,15,000 monetary accounts from them.
FTA additionally stated it can not present any data on the quantity of monetary belongings.
Switzerland has dedicated itself to adopting the worldwide normal for the worldwide automated trade of knowledge in tax issues. the authorized foundation for the implementation of AEOI in Switzerland got here into pressure on January 1, 2017.
That is the second time that India has obtained particulars from Swiss authorities below AEOI framework, which offers for the trade of knowledge on monetary accounts, at present energetic in addition to these accounts that had been closed throughout 2018, the yr during which the framework settlement grew to become efficient.
Nonetheless, AEOI solely pertains to accounts which might be formally within the identify of Indians and so they may embody these used for enterprise and different real functions.
The International Discussion board of the Organisation for Financial Cooperation and Improvement opinions AEOI implementation.
In accordance with specialists, the information obtained by India may be fairly helpful for establishing a robust prosecution case towards those that have any unaccounted wealth, because it offers complete particulars of deposits and transfers in addition to of all earnings, together with by way of investments in securities and different belongings.
On situation of anonymity, a number of officers stated the small print relate largely 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 yr earlier than the primary set of particulars may get shared and the 2 sides additionally mentioned doable steps to expedite the execution of tax information-sharing requests made by India in particular circumstances.
It’s feared many Indians might need closed their accounts after a world crackdown on black cash led to Switzerland buckling below worldwide stress to open its banking sector for scrutiny to clear the long-held notion of Swiss banks being secure haven for undisclosed funds.
Switzerland agreed to AEOI with India after a protracted course of, together with a assessment of the required authorized framework in India on information safety and confidentiality.
(Apart from the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is revealed from a syndicated feed.)