Sweden signs TIEA with Switzerland

Sweden’s minister for finance Anders Borg has welcomed the deal allowing Swedish tax authorities access to information from Swiss banks.

Sweden has signed a tax and information exchange agreement (TIEA) with Switzerland giving the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) access to information about possible accounts and assets held with Swiss banks.

“This is an important first step that increases Sweden’s ability to control money in Swiss bank accounts,” said Anders Borg, minister for finance.

The Tax Agency will in future be able to ask for information from Swiss banks. It will also be possible to access information about company ownership links and foundations that previously were inaccessible because they were covered by Switzerland’s banking secrecy rules.

Other important changes include broader rights for Sweden to tax pension payments made to people living in Switzerland, and broader rights to tax capital gains on equities and other assets of people living in Switzerland, who previously resided in Sweden.

A protocol agreement covering the changes was signed on 28 February in Stockholm by Anders Borg and the Swiss ambassador Kurt Hoechner, which requires approval from Sweden’s Parliament.

Sweden’s government has signed over 30 TIEAs since 2007 with jurisdictions around the world, including Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, the Dutch Antillies, Gibralta, Isle of Man, Jersey and Austria. It has also pursued an amnesty policy, enabling those affected to voluntarily agree to make up any taxes owed on assets or income that previously was left undeclared. This policy has so far resulted in the Swedish Tax Agency increasing its revenues by between Sek300-350m, with a large proportion of this accounted for by assets held in Switzerland.

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