WBrief: Swiss amend US tax treaty - Spear's Magazine

WBrief: Swiss amend US tax treaty

The Swiss Federal Council has approved an amending protocol, revising the controversial “UBS Treaty”, which regulates the transfer of data on 4,450 UBS clients suspected of concealing money from the US tax authorities.

The Swiss Federal Council has approved an amending protocol, revising the controversial “UBS Treaty”, which regulates the transfer of data on 4,450 UBS clients suspected of concealing money from the US tax authorities. Until the new treaty is adopted by the parliament, no information will be passed onto the US.

The amending protocol raises the treaty to the same level as a double taxation agreement, while it was formerly considered a convention, the Swiss federal office of Justice said; the new treaty takes precedence over older conventions.

The new agreement permits Switzerland to provide treaty assistance in cases not only of tax fraud, but also of continued and serious tax evasion. This will prove controversial as it appears to contradict Switzerland principle of double criminality, which states that a foreign state can only ask Switzerland for administrative assistance in cases which are illegal in both countries. Famously, tax evasion is not a crime in the Alpine state.

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