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Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Black money : Switzerland Agrees to Provide Bank Account Details

Black money: Switzerland agrees to provide bank account details of Indian citizens.
Do you think this will help Indian tax authorities to crackdown black money parked abroad?

NEW DELHI: India is one step closer to unlocking some of the mysteries locked in the vaults of Switzerland's secretive banks. Switzerland has agreed to provide information about the finances of Indian citizens stashed away in its banks, even if New Delhi is unable to provide too many details about the accounts. 

This will be a big boost to India's attempts to unearth black money stashed away by its citizens in secretive Swiss banks. The finance ministry said it will approach the Swiss government to seek information under the 'liberal interpretation of the identity requirements for providing information' agreed to in the reworked Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) signed between the two countries. 

"The move is in the right direction as it removes one key hurdle, information exchange, with Switzerland. It will improve exchange of information between the tax authorities of both countries," says G C Srivastva, former director general, international taxation. 

"The conditions will enable India to get information even if we have only limited details about the person with bank accounts in Switzerland," the finance ministry said in a release on Monday, disclosing the details of the agreement signed on April 20. 

"This agreement is beneficial to India because it gives liberal interpretation to the identity requirements for exchange of information which India will be seeking from Switzerland and is in line with international standards," the release said. The new arrangement will kick in retrospectively from April 1, 2011. 

The government has been under immense pressure from the opposition, civil society and the judiciary to demonstrate that it is serious about its intent to unearth black money parked in foreign accounts.

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