The EU-Swiss agreement* foresees automatic exchanges of information on the financial accounts of each others residents. It also provides for measures intended to restrict the opportunities for taxpayers to avoid being reported to tax authorities by shifting assets or investing in products that are outside the scope of the agreement. In particular, three central objectives of the taxation agreement are to enable the national tax administrators:
• to more effectively identify correctly and unequivocally the taxpayers concerned;
• to more easily administer and enforce their tax laws in cross-border situations; and
• to better assess the likelihood of tax evasion being perpetrated.
Agathe Smyth, policy adviser for tax policies at CESI, comments: “The EU-Swiss taxation agreement that was agreed today can be a very powerful tool to help the national tax administrators do their work – collecting due taxes. Now, an unrestricted implementation and enforcement of the agreement by all actors and at all levels is key.”
CESI represents several major national trade unions of tax administration officers. Especially through its membership in the European Commission’s advisory Platform for Tax Good Governance, CESI has for long called on the EU to take measures that will enable the tax administrators to do their work in an efficient and effective manner.
In this context, CESI also welcomes broader recent developments in the field of tax transparency such as the continuing progress in the Commission towards an Action plan for fairer tax systems in Europe** and Amazon Germany’s recent carving in to political pressure when it comes to paying taxes on profits where they are made. There is still a long way to go on the road to effective fair tax systems, but a good start has been made.