India receives first tranche of Swiss account details

MUMBAI : India has received the first tranche of details about financial accounts of its residents in Swiss banks under the automatic info exchange framework, the Switzerland government said Monday.

 July this year that India was all set to receive the bank account details under the automatic exchange of information (AEOI) programme, which provides for exchange of information on financial accounts that are currently active as well as those accounts that were closed during 2018. The next exchange would take place in September 2020.

The Federal Tax office had then 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.

In 2016, India and Switzerland had signed an information-sharing deal on bank accounts, which was to come in effect from January 2018.

This exchange of information is being carried out under the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), the global reporting standard for such exchange of information, which takes care of aspects such as confidentiality rules and data safeguards. The CRS has been developed by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

According to the two Swiss agencies, India is among 75 countries with whom information on bank accounts will be shared this year — AEOIs were implemented with 36 countries last year.

The step is likely to shed more light on the wealth Indians have stashed away in Swiss bank accounts, for so long governed by strict local rules of secrecy. In 2018, data from Zurich-based Swiss National Bank (SNB) had shown that after declining for three years, money parked by Indians in Swiss Banks rose 50 per cent to CHF (Swiss Franc) 1.02 billion (Rs 7,000 crore) in 2017 over the previous year.