Bern (Switzerland): Swiss bank Indian accounts list has been handed over to the centre. Seventy-five countries, including India, received details on the financial accounts of its residents in the Swiss bank on Monday. Information including name, address, state of residence and tax identification number, as well information concerning the reporting financial institution, capital income and account balance is exchanged under the automatic exchange of information (AEOI) framework by Swiss Bank Federal Tax Administration (FTA).
This is for the first time that India has received account details of its residents in Swiss Bank. The released information of Swiss bank Indian accounts will help the country to avail details on accounts that currently exist as well as those closed during 2018. Most of those in the list are industrialists in the country and Non Residence Indians who are now living in United States, United Kingdom and several African and South American countries. Industrialists belong to sectors like Gold and diamond exporters, steel industry, textiles and other prominent industries where there is likelihood of tax evasion and hawala transactions.
This exchange is a milestone for the country to track the black money stashed abroad Whether taxpayers have correctly declared their financial accounts abroad in their tax returns can now be monitored.
The next exchange would take place in 2020. FTA has shared information on around 3.1 million financial accounts with the partner states.
In the case of 12 countries, Switzerland did not publish any of the received information. This is either because those countries do not yet meet the international requirements on confidentiality and data security ( Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Belize, Montserrat, Curaçao, Saint Vincent Romania, and the Grenadines, Cyprus) or because they chose not to receive data (Islands British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, Cayman, Turks and Caicos Islands). The details are providied as part of automatic exchange programme. Citing the confidentiality reasons both Indian government and Switzerland refused to give the individual details of the account holders.
Switzerland has been the safe haven of black money holding apart from other tax heaven countries like Seychelles Island, British Virgin Islands, Luxembourg and Caymon Islands.