On 3 March 2015 the Australian Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey and the Swiss Ambassador Marcel Stutz agreed to increase cooperation to tackle tax evasion, by means of the automatic exchange of information with Switzerland based on the OECD’s common reporting standard (CRS): Treasurer’s media release (3 March 2015).
Under the agreement, the Australian Taxation Office will automatically receive details of financial accounts, such as investment income and balances, that Australians hold in Switzerland, and use the information to check against the income declared in Australian tax returns.
The Swiss Federal Tax Administration will receive details of Swiss residents that hold financial accounts in Australia.
The agreement also covers financial services cooperation. Australia and Switzerland will explore opportunities to improve provision of financial services between the two countries.
Australia and Switzerland are to implement the CRS from 2017, and first exchange information in 2018. Over 90 other jurisdictions have committed to implement the CRS according to a timeline agreed by the G20.