Swiss Government Updates List of Reportable Jurisdictions

On December 27, 2017, the Swiss government updated its list of reportable jurisdictions, i.e., states and territories with which Switzerland has agreed to implement the automatic exchange of information in tax matters (AEI). The list now contains the EU-28 and 52 other reportable jurisdictions, including New Zealand and Saudi Arabia, for which there was initial resistance in parliament.

According to the Swiss State Secretariat for International Finance (SIF), two agreements with Hong Kong and Singapore, for which the consultation is still ongoing and which have not yet been ratified by the Swiss parliament, shall be applied “provisionally” as of January 1, 2018 (see footnote 6). A legal basis or a specific need for this early application was not mentioned by SIF.

In addition, SIF published a statement pursuant to which the term “Participating Jurisdiction”, as defined in article 1 of the Swiss AEI Ordinance, shall be limited to include only jurisdictions on the OECD’s list, which have committed to a date for the first exchange.

The definition of Participating Jurisdictions affects the due diligence requirements of reporting Swiss financial institutions under AEI. Reporting financial institutions are not required to identify and document controlling persons of professionally managed investment entities based in a Participating Jurisdiction.