The OECD's global AEOI standard has been included in full in the new agreement. To date, approximately 100 countries, including all major financial centres, have committed themselves to introducing this global standard. The agreement between Switzerland and the EU should come into force on 1 January 2017, and the first sets of data should be exchanged from 2018, provided the approval process is completed on time in Switzerland and in the EU. The agreement between Switzerland and the EU is applicable in Switzerland with regard to all 28 EU member states.
In formal terms, the signed agreement is a protocol of amendment to replace the taxation of savings agreement between Switzerland and the EU that has been in force since 2005, but it includes the existing withholding tax exemption for cross-border payments of dividends, interest and royalties between related entities. This is in the interests of Switzerland as a business location.
In this regard, it has also been possible to make some progress concerning EU market access. For example, initial exploratory talks have been initiated with the European Commission on the possibility of a sectoral financial services agreement (FSA), to clarify its feasibility and parameters. In connection with this AEOI agreement with the EU, regularisation of the past with neighbouring countries and key EU member states can be considered done to a large extent.
The proposal is subject to approval by Parliament and an optional referendum.
On 8 October 2014, the Federal Council decided to adopt the negotiation mandates for the automatic exchange of information in tax matters with partner states after the competent parliamentary committees and the cantons had been consulted on them. Negotiations with the partner states were initiated thereafter. The AEOI agreement with the EU was signed in Brussels on 27 May 2015.
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