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HMRC internal manual

Double Taxation Relief Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Switzerland: double taxation agreement, Article 25: Exchange of information

(1) In relation to the taxes which are the subject of this Convention, the competent authorities of the Contracting States shall, on request, exchange such information as is foreseeably relevant:

(a) for carrying out the provisions of this Convention;

(b) for the administration or enforcement of the domestic laws of each Contracting State the case of holding companies;

(c) for the administration or enforcement of the domestic laws of each Contracting State in cases of tax fraud or the like.

(2) Any information received under paragraph (1) by a Contracting State shall be treated as secret in the same manner as information obtained under the domestic laws of that State and shall be disclosed only to persons or authorities (including courts and administrative bodies) concerned with the assessment or collection of, the enforcement or prosecution in respect of, the determination of appeals in relation to the taxes covered by this Convention, or the oversight of the above. Such persons or authorities shall use the information only for such purposes. They may disclose the information in public court proceedings or in judicial decisions.

(3) In no case shall the provisions of paragraphs (1) and (2) be construed so as to impose on a Contracting State the obligation:

(a) to carry out administrative measures at variance with the laws and administrative practice of that or the other Contracting State;

(b) to supply information which is not obtainable under the laws or in the normal course of the administration of that or the other Contracting State;

(c) to supply information which would disclose any trade, business, industrial, commercial or professional secret or trade process, or conformation the disclosure of which would be contrary to public policy.

(4) If information is requested by a Contracting State in accordance with this Article, the other Contracting State shall provide the requested information even though that other Contracting State may not need such information for its own tax purposes.

(5) In cases of tax fraud or the like, banking and other professional secrecy provisions shall not preclude the furnishing of information to the competent authority of the requesting State.