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Alternative Market Briefing

Singapore may get ahead of Switzerland on tax matters

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Algirdas Semeta
Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque Geneva: - Bank secrecy was codified by the 1934 Swiss Banking Act, and is prevalent in certain countries such as Switzerland, Lebanon, Singapore and Luxembourg, as well as offshore banks and other tax havens. This is slowly being eroded by pressures coming from both the U.S. and the EU, as governments, which have been looking in every corners for cash since the 2008 crisis, are ramping up their tax collection efforts, especially from nationals parking money abroad. And Switzerland, Singapore, Luxembourg, Austria to name a few, became targets. Last week, Singapore showed its usual proactive stance when it announced a series of steps to become more transparent and cooperative with tax issues. Meanwhile, Switzerland got into a tight corner: the country, which has been grappling with the U.S. on tax evasion matters since 2009, is now facing new demands from the European Commission that also came in last week.

ECOFIN on automatic exchange of information During a meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) last week, the Council of the European Union gave a mandate to the European Commission to negotiate ame......................

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