Switzerland relaxed the conditions for sharing information on secret bank accounts of overseas tax-offenders on Tuesday by widening the scope of identification. At present, Switzerland accepts only names and addresses as valid identification from countries with which it has the information exchange facilitating agreement.
However, to bring this revision into effect, the double taxation agreements between the Swiss and other governments would need to be revised.
The Swiss parliament is debating a treaty between India and Switzerland to pave the way for the Indian authorities to seek details of illicit wealth stashed away in Swiss banks.
The Indian government is facing intense pressure from both the Opposition and the judiciary to act against those who have allegedly stashed away illicit wealth in countries that have strict banking secrecy rules.
The government recently submitted to the Supreme Court a list of tax-offenders — in a sealed envelop —who had stashed away their illicit wealth in foreign banks.
The Swiss authorities, however, made it clear that the countries should seek specific information instead of trawling through Swiss bank accounts in the hope of finding something of their interest.
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