The agreement will allow the Italian tax authorities to ask for financial information about Italian residents who hold assets in Swiss bank accounts. So far, those requests were not possible due to secrecy laws covering assets held in Swiss banks.
The request for information can be made in relation to individuals, as well as groups of people and companies, on the basis of their irregular and elusive behaviour.
The protocol, which aims to simplify the exchange of information between Italy and Switzerland, also includes a roadmap with commitments to make reductions to withholding tax rates on dividends and interest payments and to modify the taxation of cross-border workers.
This will help Italian government to have control over Italians with undeclared assets in Switzerland, whose details can be now disclosed. The deadline for signing the protocol is set on March 2, 2015.
All sorts of tax information of any nature will be shared. In no circumstances it will be possible for banks, financial intermediaries and trusts to decline to provide the information they hold. Data requested from tax authorities will be valid for only acts and banking information subsequent to the signing of the agreement and could focus on single taxpayers as well as on specific groups. For the latter, however, the request will need to be related to specific “tax” behaviors not shared in common, and never be based on their identification data. These are the main aspects of the new tax agreement reached yesterday between Italy and Switzerland after three years of negotiations.