Spain and Switzerland this week agreed to hold regular technical meetings to assess the development of the new protocol, which has been in force since 2014, and to foster the exchange of information.
Spain’s State Secretary for the Treasury, Miguel Ferre, held a meeting at the headquarters of the Ministry of the Treasury and Public Administration Services with the State Secretary for Financial Affairs of Switzerland, Jacques de Watteville. The meeting was used to exchange experiences and best practices in the area of administrative cooperation on tax issues and to analyse the exchange of tax information, among other things, between the two countries and the development of the OECD’s BEPS (Base Erosion and Profit Shifting) Action Plan to fight the erosion of tax bases.
Spain and Switzerland signed a protocol to amend the double tax treaty and on the exchange of information using the standards imposed by the OECD. The protocol, which came into force on 24 August 2013, establishes that the provisions on the exchange of information will be effective for all forms of taxation as from 1 January 2014.
Spain considers that the aforesaid protocol represents a significant step forward in terms of instruments for preventing tax fraud by those taxpayers who have deposited their income or capital in Switzerland. The new features include the Swiss authorities undertaking to provide information upon request, to obtain and furnish all information that is relevant for all forms of taxation without the possibility of opposing banking secrecy.
After the meeting, Miguel Ferre and Jacques de Watteville agreed that the authorities of the two countries will hold regular technical meetings with the aim of performing ongoing assessment of the development of this protocol and to boost the exchange of tax information. A work group commissioned with overseeing the fluid exchange of information will be set up to that end.
In 2013 (the first year that tax model 720 on overseas assets was in force), taxpayers to the Spanish Treasury declared that they held assets and rights in Switzerland valued at some 19.9 billion euros.