On November 22, 2016, Switzerland and India signed a joint declaration on the introduction of the automatic exchange of information (AEOI) in tax matters on a reciprocal basis. The joint declaration (Swiss-Indian AEOI Declaration) was signed by Sushil Chandra, chair of India’s Central Board of Direct Taxes, and Gilles Roduit, deputy chief of mission of the Swiss Embassy in India.
Swiss-Indian AEOI Declaration Will Follow CRS
The Swiss-Indian AEOI Declaration foresees that AEOI will be based on the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) adopted by OECD. From the Swiss legal perspective, the AEOI with India will be based on the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement on the Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information (MCAA). The MCAA is based on the international standard for the exchange of information developed by the OECD. The OECD introduced the standard in February of 2014; the G-20 leaders approved it in November of 2015 during the G-20 summit in Brisbane, Australia.
Implementation Time Frame for Swiss-Indian AEOI Declaration
Both governments committed to start collecting the CRS-required data in 2018. The actual exchange of the CRS data will commence in 2019 and continue onwards. Both governments must notify each other of relevant developments regarding the implementation of the CRS in their domestic legislation.
Implications of Swiss-Indian AEOI Declaration for US Taxpayers
The Swiss-Indian AEOI Declaration increases the probability of the IRS being able to obtain FATCA data from both countries regarding noncompliant US taxpayers with assets in Switzerland and/or India. The reason is simple: as financial institutions comb through their client data, there is an increased probability that they may encounter that some of their taxpayers are US taxpayers whose information needs to be reported to the IRS under FATCA.
Moreover, under the Swiss-Indian AEOI Declaration, both countries anticipate that their taxpayers will participate in a local voluntary disclosure program as part of the transaction to the AEOI system. Both countries must notify each other about these programs and it is possible that more information than usual will be revealed during these voluntary disclosures. Hence, the local Swiss and Indian voluntary disclosure programs further increase the probability that the IRS may find out about the assets of noncompliant US taxpayers.
Contact Sherayzen Law Office for Help With the IRS Voluntary Disclosure of Your Unreported Foreign Assets and Foreign Income
If you are a US tax resident with undisclosed assets in India and/or Switzerland, you should contact Sherayzen Law Office for professional help with your IRS voluntary disclosure of these assets as soon as possible. In today’s world, the probability that the information regarding your undisclosed assets will be detected by the IRS has increased exponentially as the recent Swiss-Indian AEOI Declaration demonstrates. Combined with FATCA, you are running an unacceptable risk of IRS detection that may result in the imposition of draconian IRS penalties, including criminal penalties.
Over the past more than 10 years, Sherayzen Law Office has helped hundreds of US taxpayers with assets around the globe to bring their tax affairs into full compliance with US tax laws, and we can help you!