The government of India has achieved a significant milestone in its fight to bring black money stashed at Swiss Bank accounts, India has received first chunk of the list of Swiss bank account holders under the Automatic Exchange of Information Agreement.
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According to the reports, India is among the 75 countries with which Switzerland’s Federal Tax Administration (FTA) has exchanged information on bank accounts under the framework of global standards on Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI). The FTA had collected data from around 7,500 institutions including banks, trusts and insurers.
In June this year, it was reported that the Swiss Bank is in the process of sharing details of at least 50 Indian nationals having accounts in Switzerland-based banks. Prior to that, the Swiss authorities had shot notices to 11 Indians holding Swiss bank accounts notifying them that they have been given one last chance to appeal against sharing of their details with India.
This is the first time that Swiss officials have shared details with India under the AEOI framework, which provides for exchange of information on financial accounts, currently active as well as those accounts that were closed during 2018, the year in which the framework agreement became effective.
The information exchange, however, is regulated by stringent confidentiality clauses, and the FTA officials refused to reveal explicit details about the quantum of bank accounts or magnitude of financial assets associated with the Indian clients of Swiss banks. According to the framework, the AEOI allow information exchange if only those accounts that are officially in the name of Indians and they might include those used for business and other genuine purposes.
In all, the FTA has shared exchange information on around 3.1 million financial accounts to the member states and received information on around 2.4 million from them.
The exchange information include identification, account and financial information. These have details in form of name, address, state of residence and tax identification number, account balance and capital income of the account holder.
Besides, the Swiss government released a press statement stating that out of the 75 countries with which the AEOI has taken place, there has been reciprocity with 63 countries.