France Struggles to Share Tax Information with Switzerland

In Switzerland, it is a historical event. For the first time, its tax administration, the Federal Tax Administration (FTA), sent information to dozens of countries on 29 and 30 September on accounts held in Switzerland by non-residents. A step prepared for a long time, which marks the end of banking secrecy and the culmination of difficult negotiations with its partners.

28 countries of the European Union, plus nine other states and territories, which have committed to exchange information with Switzerland, two countries have not played the game: Australia and  France. “These states could not yet deliver their data to the AFC for technical reasons,” conceded AFC Friday. Berne suddenly refused to send France its own information.

“Technical reasons”
France, which opens Monday the UBS trial for tax evasion, played a leading role in the OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Automatic Exchange of Information. “Today marks the end of banking secrecy in Europe and, even beyond, the former finance minister Michel Sapin welcomed when the multilateral agreement was signed in Berlin. It is unbearable for citizens who pay their taxes to see some who escape. ”

In Bercy, this ignition delay is explained by “a greater volume of information to be transmitted this year”, due in particular to a wider data scope, with the inclusion of life insurance, by example. “As a result, the transmission of data from France to Switzerland is slightly delayed,” said a spokesman for the Directorate General of Public Finance (DGFIP). He will be caught in the coming days. ”

Paris, which has exchanged information with other countries in 2017, believes that Bern should send him his information. “The principle of automatic exchange is that no country makes its shipments subject to prior analysis of information from other countries, says the DGFIP. The Swiss tax office therefore has no reason to postpone its shipments to France, “she adds, noting that she has sent to other countries.

France and Australia, which cited technical reasons, Croatia, Estonia and Poland did not send their data to Switzerland. Cyprus and Romania are excluded from the exchange because they do not yet meet international requirements for confidentiality and data security, the AFC says.