After many years, finally stage is all set when India and Switzerland will exchange banking information before the September 30 deadline, this means finally we will come to know how many Indians have stashed money in Swiss banks. It has been often alleged that Indians and other nationals seeking to stash their illicit wealth abroad use multiple layers of various jurisdictions, including tax, havens, to shift the money to Swiss banks.
According to Indian Express, This follows the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) agreement signed between the two countries, and which came into force January 2018. The officials in the Swiss Finance Ministry and the Swiss Federal Tax Administration (EStV) in Berne, the Federal Tax office stated that “several dispatches might be necessary” in the case of India, giving an indication of the volume of details to be shared with Indian tax authorities of all Indians with bank accounts in Switzerland as of 2018 beginning.
India has moved down one place to 74th rank in terms of money parked by its citizens and enterprises with Swiss banks, while the UK has retained its top position, as per data released by the central banking authority of the Alpine nation. India was ranked 73rd last year, after jumping 15 places from its 88th position a year ago.
An analysis of the latest annual banking statistics released by the Swiss National Bank (SNB) shows that India remains ranked very low when it comes to money parked by Indian individuals and enterprises in Swiss banks, including through their India-based branches, while accounting for just about 0.07 percent of the aggregate funds parked by all foreign clients of Switzerland-based banks. In comparison, the top-ranked UK accounted for more than 26 percent of the total foreign funds parked with Swiss banks at the end of 2018.
A senior official of the Foreign Taxation & Tax Research (FT&TR) told The Indian Express that they were “all set” to receive the bank account details under the AEOI. “We have all the systems in place and are ready for the exchange. Following the delivery of the data, the Swiss account details will be compared with the tax returns of account holders and action taken wherever necessary,” a senior official told the leading daily. The AEOI process, which kicks off in September, will be an annual exercise and Swiss officials say they are also awaiting banking information that India will simultaneously share with them.
Also, with Switzerland putting in place an automatic information exchange framework with India and various other countries, the famed secrecy walls of Swiss banks are said to have crumbled. India will start getting this automatic data from this year, while it has already been getting information on accounts where proof of illicit funds can be furnished.