On 20 March 2017, the Swiss Federal Tax Administration (FTA) switched on the first function for the automatic information exchange on its FTA SuisseTax electronic portal, where reporting Swiss financial institutions can comply with their registration duty. They have to register by the end of 2017, so that data may first be exchanged in 2018 under the AEOI regime.
It should be recalled that Switzerland has introduced the AEOI with all EU member states, including Gibraltar in 2017, as well as with Australia, Iceland, Norway, Japan, Canada, South Korea and the British crown dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. Data will be first exchanged with these states and territories in 2018. The legal basis for the international AEOI in Switzerland came on 1 January 2017 into effect. Therefore, the first data exchange can be carried out with selected partner countries in 2018. In terms of law, the AEOI with the new states and territories will be based on the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement on the Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information (MCAA). The MCAA is based on OECD’s international standard for the exchange of information.
Swiss financial institutions, such as deposit institutions, depositories, investment companies or specific insurance companies, must register for AEOI by the end of 2017 via the FTA SuisseTax portal on the FTA website (www.estv.admin.ch). Please be advised that registration by means of a paper form or a letter is not possible. A step-by-step guide to the registration process is available on the website of FTA.
The launch of the FTA SuisseTax function is another important step in implementing the international AEOI regime in Switzerland. It is contemplated that, starting from summer 2017, financial institutions will be able to submit their AEOI reports to FTA for test purposes.
The FTA SuisseTax Portal is based on the newest security standards and is embedded in the e-government landscape of FTA. So far, companies can use it to settle their VAT as well as to submit withholding tax refund requests.