Treasurer Joe Hockey has announced Australia and Switzerland have agreed to increase cooperation in a bid to tackle international tax evasion.
Australia, Switzerland agree to tackle tax evasion
Mr Hockey said supporting greater tax transparency and information exchange is a key way to crack down on those who deliberately try to avoid paying their fair share of tax.
“Australia is already a leader in the automatic exchange of information. Today we have agreed to take another step in the fight against evasion and automatically exchange information with Switzerland based on the OECD’s common reporting standard (CRS)," he said.
Under the terms agreed, the ATO will automatically receive details of financial accounts, such as investment income and balances, that Australians hold in Switzerland. The ATO will then use this information to check against the income declared in Australian tax returns.
In return, the Swiss Federal Tax Administration will receive details of Swiss residents who hold financial accounts in Australia.
“Previously hidden offshore income will be exposed. There will be nowhere to hide,” said Mr Hockey.
“Today’s agreement also covers financial services cooperation. Australia and Switzerland will explore opportunities to improve provision of financial services between our two countries.”
Mr Hockey said Australia and Switzerland are to implement the CRS from 2017, and first exchange information in 2018.
So far, more than 90 other jurisdictions have committed to implement the CRS according to a timeline agreed by the G20.
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