Tax data exchange
with Switzerland not ready
Lebanon has first to abide by
confidentiality and safeguards standards
The first exchange of financial account information between Lebanon and Switzerland in a reciprocal manner could start in September 2021 if Lebanon complies with international standards, said Simon Ammann the interim Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Switzerland.
In December 2019, the Swiss parliament approved the ‘Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information’ (AEOI) law with 18 countries, including Lebanon. The deadline for implementing the AEOI was set in 2021 provided Lebanon meets the required standards. Meanwhile, reporting Swiss financial institutions are required to collect data on Lebanese tax residents starting from January 2020.
“If Lebanon meets the conditions set by the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information in tax matters in the course of the year 2020, the first exchange of financial account information could occur in September 2021 at the earliest,” Ammann said.
According to Ammann, Lebanon does not yet meet the conditions required by the international AEOI standard regarding confidentiality and data safeguards. “Accordingly, the AEOI with Lebanon is implemented in a non-reciprocal manner. This means that partner states, including Switzerland, will send financial account information only once Lebanon has implemented the necessary measures imposed by the Global Forum,” he said.
When the AEOI is fully implemented, Switzerland will provide to the Ministry of Finance details of bank accounts held by Lebanese nationals and by those with fiscal residence in Lebanon. Lebanon in its turn, will share information on banking details of accounts held by Swiss citizens and people with a fiscal residence in Switzerland.
Reported by Shikrallah Nakhoul
Date Posted: Jan 17, 2020