India, Switzerland to share tax-info soon

Vienna: India and Switzerland will start exchanging information on tax related matters from the next fiscal after the new tax information exchange treaty is ratified by the Swiss Parliament tomorrow, paving way for obtaining data on black money stashed in the tax heaven.

"The information sharing will take place from the first day of the next financial year, that is, January 1, 2012 for Switzerland and April 1, 2012 for India," M Ganapathi, Secretary (West), Ministry of External Affairs, said here while briefing reporters on President Pratibha Patil`s just concluded state visit to Switzerland. The move comes at a time when the issue of black money stashed in Swiss banks has become a major concern back home with political parties and civil society taking up the matter. The protocol amending the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement between India and Switzerland was concluded in New Delhi on August 30 this year.

The revised treaty would allow India to access tax related information from the Swiss authorities with a prospective effect. One of the most crucial sections of the agreement on the issue of tax related matter is Section 26 which deals with exchange of information. The initial agreement between the two countries was signed on November 2, 1994. It was subsequently amended and a supplementary protocol signed in Delhi on February 16, 2000.