Posted by: Business Law EBooks | June 19, 2009

United States, Switzerland Agree to Increased Tax Information Exchange

United States, Switzerland Agree to Increased Tax Information Exchange

WASHINGTON–As part of the Obama Administration’s aggressive efforts to enforce U.S. tax laws and reduce offshore tax evasion, the U.S. Department of the Treasury today announced the conclusion of negotiations with Switzerland to amend the U.S.-Switzerland income tax treaty to provide for increased tax information exchange.  Official signing of the protocol is expected in the next few months.

“This Administration is committed to reducing off shore tax evasion to help ensure that all U.S. taxpayers are playing by the same rules,” said Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.  “This treaty will increase our ability to enforce our tax laws and will help bring an end to an era of offshore accounts and investments being used for tax evasion.”

The protocol would revise the existing U.S.-Switzerland income tax treaty to allow for the exchange of information for income tax purposes to the full extent permitted by Article 26 of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Model Income Tax Convention.  

In recent months, the Administration has demonstrated its commitment to closing the tax gap.  At the G-20 Leaders’ Summit, the U.S. strongly supported efforts to ensure that all countries adhere to international standards for exchange of tax information.  In the FY 2010 Budget, the Administration delivered a detailed reform agenda to reduce the amount of taxes lost through unintended loopholes and the illegal use of hidden accounts by well-off individuals.  The Treasury Department recently concluded Gibraltar’s first-ever tax information exchange agreement and also signed an agreement with Luxembourg to provide for greater exchange of tax information.

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