Pakistan Is To Exchange Tax Info With Switzerland

The Senate Standing Committee on Finance in Pakistan was notified that the country is starting to exchange tax information with Switzerland in January 2018. The process will be carried out under Art.26 of the Convention on Avoidance of Double Taxation (ADT).

Only Prospective Transactions Are Accessible

The new Article 26 was designed on the basis of the latest Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) model and extends its scope beyond the information needed for tax administration purpose, but exchanged information would be limited to only cover cases taking place since 2018 January. Dr. Muhammad Iqbal, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Senior Member Inland Revenue Policy, said that information of past cases would not be available under the revised convention between Pakistan and Switzerland. “If we strictly interpret the law, future information after signing of the agreement would be available, but we would try our level best to get past information as well – specifically details of Swiss bank accounts of Pakistanis,” he added.

The $200b Remains Excluded from Monitoring

In 2014, the then finance minister Ishaq Dar informed parliament in writing that Pakistanis had stashed about $200 billion in Swiss banks and the government would retrieve the money by revising the avoidance of double taxation treaty, but the ADT treaty if the Swiss government fails to retrieve the money deposited by Pakistani nationals in Swiss banks. Nonetheless, there are several measures taken to collect bank account information of Pakistanis in Swiss banks for the purposes of avoiding taxation.

Sources: DAWN, The Express TRIBUNE

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