An analysis of the messages issued by the Federal Tax Administration, Switzerland's government's nodal department for sharing information on foreign customers of Swiss banks, shows that the Swiss government has strengthened its efforts to share such details with a number of countries in recent months. But the increase in India-related issues is noticeable in recent weeks.
At least 1[ads1]1 such messages were issued to Indian citizens on May 21, although the Swiss government Gazette alerts have edited full names to several of them, while only publishing their initials in addition to nationality and date of birth.
The two Indians whose names are mentioned in their entirety are Krishna Bhagwan Ramchand (born in May 1949) and Kalpesh Harshad Kinariwala (born in September 1972). However, no further details about them are provided.
Indian citizens with edited names include Mrs. ASBK (born November 24, 1944), ABKI (born July 9, 1944), Mrs PAS (born November 2, 1983), Mrs RAS (born November 22, 1973), Mr. APS (born November 27, 1944), ADS (born August 14, 1949), MLA (born May 20, 1935), NMA (born February 21, 1968) and MMA (June 27, 1973).
In these messages, individuals or their authorized representatives have been asked to file their complaints, if any, within 30 days of the required documentary evidence to support the case against providing "administrative assistance" to India, which is largely meaning sharing of their bank and other financial details.
Earlier this month on May 7, a similar summons was given to another Native American, Ratan Singh Chowdhury, who gave the opportunity to appeal within ten days, while another Indian with an editorial name, RPN, was given 30 days in May 14.
In April, some such messages were also issued, including to a wife J N V, who among other things included Kuldip Singh Dhingra and Anil Bhardwaj.
Several of these names are said to have found out in the leaked HSBC lists and Panama papers that allegedly contained Native American names with Swiss bank accounts and are being investigated by Indian authorities in alleged black money cases.
In the case of Krishna Bhagwan Ramchand and Kalpesh Harshad Kinariwala, such announcements were also released in April, and fresh alerts have been served to them presumably according to their responses to previous messages.
Prior to March, Switzerland had issued such messages to Mumbai-based Geodesic Ltd and its three directors (Prashant Sharad Mulekar, Pankajkumar Onkar Srivastava and Kiran Kulkarni), and also Chennai-based Aadhi Enterprises Pvt Ltd, which is probed by the Indian authorities for alleged money laundering and other financial irregularities.
Switzerland was widely known as an alleged black money retreat before bowing to global pressure and agreed to bring down the famous secret wall that had historically surrounded Swiss banks, provided that requesting countries provided evidence of economic irregularities done by the person or company concerned.
Together with several other countries, India has also availed itself of this change in Switzerland, by searching for details of suspected black money hoarders in Swiss banks, and information has already been returned in a large number of cases lately. year.
Under the Swiss law, the FTA decision can be appealed within 30 days (in some cases 10 days), provided that the complainant is able to provide sufficient reason to challenge it.
While the Swiss government documents did not disclose specific details related to information and assistance sought by the Indian authorities for these Indian companies and individuals, such "administrative assistance" follows evidence of financial and fiscal errors and typically involves sharing of information related to bank account information. and other financial data.
While Switzerland has always refused to be a black-money haven, it has begun to share details for the past few years with several countries, including India, following evidence of financial and fiscal failures in Swiss bank customers.
In addition, a new framework for automatic information exchange has now been set, and the details can be reached under the new system from this year.
According to Switzerland's State Secretary for International Finance, the global standard for automatic exchange of information (AEOI) on the financial accounts is expected to increase transparency and prevent cross-border tax evasion.
The global standard provides for mutual exchange of information on financial accounts between states and territories that have unanimously entered into with AEOI. In addition to Switzerland, over 100 states and territories, including all major financial centers, have stated their intention to adopt the standard.