|Swiss Bank Account Holders Lose Right to Be Warned of Foreign Requests|
The Swiss parliament has voted to allow accountholders' information to be disclosed to foreign tax authorities without giving the accountholder advance notice.
The amendment to banking secrecy law was proposed by the Federal Council last August under the threat of OECD sanctions. After a very short public consultation, it was introduced into parliament as a revision of the Tax Administrative Assistance Act.
The previous Swiss practice was to give the accountholder prior notice of the disclosure, but this did not comply with OECD Global Forum demands. Under the revised act, affected taxpayers will only be notified after the information has been disclosed to the requesting state's authorities.
The procedure will, however, be restricted to cases whereby the requesting government can show that a prior notification to the suspect would compromise its investigation.
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Published on our website on March 28, 2014