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Swiss Tax Agency Exchanges Information On Advance Tax Rulings

Friday, May 11, 2018

The Swiss Federal Tax Administration (FTA) has confirmed that it has transmitted its first spontaneous information reports on advance tax rulings to exchange of information partner states.

The FTA said on May 8 that it has transmitted a first batch of 82 reports to a total of 41 states, including France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Russia. The reports concern rulings that were still effective on January 1, 2018.

The information was transmitted under the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, which entered into force in Switzerland on January 1, 2017, and in accordance with Action 5 of the OECD BEPS project.

Signatories to the convention have agreed to exchange the content of advance tax rulings spontaneously, which means that no request for information was made by a partner state beforehand. However, the FTA said that the information is presented in the form of a template, and the advance tax rulings themselves are not exchanged.

In Switzerland, advance tax rulings are normally issued by the cantonal tax administrations, which then must be passed on to the FTA. The FTA carries out the administrative assistance procedure and transmits ruling reports to partner states within the framework of the Convention.

The framework covers six categories of rulings, including: rulings related to preferential regimes; cross border unilateral advance pricing arrangements or other unilateral transfer pricing rulings; rulings giving a downward adjustment to profits; permanent establishment rulings; conduit rulings; and any other type of ruling where the Forum on Harmful Tax Practices agrees in the future that the absence of exchange would give rise to BEPS concerns.