Switzerland and Singapore have initialled the extensively revised existing bilateral double taxation agreement (DTA) in place between the two countries, extending administrative assistance in tax matters in accordance with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) standard. According to the Swiss Federal Administration, the agreement contains various provisions that are beneficial to the Swiss economy.
The Swiss administration states that: “Since the Federal Council decision of March 13, 2009 on administrative assistance in tax matters, Switzerland has concluded corresponding negotiations with over two dozen states.”
It adds: “In the process, Switzerland has also been able to negotiate various benefits for the economy, such as reductions in withholding tax on dividends, interest and royalty payments, or the introduction of an arbitration clause. In addition, tax discrimination has been avoided and/or eliminated. This policy will be pursued, and further negotiations are envisaged with important countries.”
While the content of the revised agreement with Singapore is to remain confidential at first, the next step is for it to be disclosed to the Swiss cantons and business associations concerned in the form of a brief report to enable them to submit their comments. The agreement will then be signed and subsequently presented to the Swiss parliament for approval. Following ratification, the agreement can then enter into force once the partner state has also provided its approval.
In its concluding statement, the administration explains that the first ten DTAs containing the extended administrative assistance clause were approved by parliament in the recent summer session. Further DTAs that have subsequently been signed will be gradually submitted to parliament for approval, it adds.
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