India has on October 7, 2019 received the first tranche of details about financial accounts of its residents in Swiss banks under a new automatic exchange of information framework between the two countries, marking a significant milestone in the fight against black money suspected to be stashed abroad. India figures among 75 countries with which Switzerland’s Federal Tax Administration (FTA) has exchanged information on financial accounts within the framework of global standards on AEOI, an FTA spokesperson told PTI.
This is the first time that India has received details from Switzerland under the AEOI framework, 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 spokesperson added. India’s Swiss black money probe reaches ‘software’ firm in Andheri bylane
Overall, the FTA has sent information on around 3.1 million financial accounts to the partner states and received information on around 2.4 million from them. The exchanged information include dentification, account and financial information. These include name, address, state of residence and tax identification number, as well information concerning the financial institution, account balance and capital income.
However, it is feared many Indians might have closed their accounts after a global crackdown on black money led to Switzerland buckling under pressure to open its banking sector for scrutiny to clear the long-held perception of Swiss banks being safe haven for undisclosed funds. However, the AEOI only relates to accounts that are officially in the name of Indian residents and they might include those used for business and other genuine purposes. Switzerland agreed to AEOI with India after months-long process, including review of necessary legal framework in India on data protection and confidentiality.