How the tax man will find out about your account

A law effectively putting an end to Swiss banking secrecy has come into force. This report shows how bank data will be exchanged between countries. (SRF/

This content was published on January 4, 2017 - 17:00

From the beginning of January, a new international law that introduced the automatic exchange of bank data means foreign citizens with accounts in Switzerland can expect previously secret information to be shared with their home tax authorities, and vice versa. It’s a deal that’s been agreed in principle with around 100 countriesExternal link, although the United States is notably missing. 

However, it was under pressure from the US that the first cracks in Swiss banking secrecy appeared. Since 2009, Swiss banks have paid billions in fines for enabling Americans to evade taxes. 

The US Justice authorities started clamping down on American tax evaders hiding cash in Swiss accounts almost a decade ago.

The recent change has attracted attention internationally. On platforms such as Reddit people wondered where those who had stored their money in Switzerland will move it to.

Switzerland signed the global convention in 2014, paving the way for the new legislation to come into force. But some Swiss legal experts fear it comes at the expense of personal rights.

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