January 24, 2003
Treasury Announces Mutual Agreement with Switzerland
Regarding Tax Information Exchange
Today the Treasury Department announced that the competent authorities of the United States and Switzerland have entered into a Mutual Agreement under the current U.S.-Swiss Income Tax Convention that is intended to facilitate more effective tax information exchange between the two countries.
Acting Treasury Secretary Kenneth W. Dam and Swiss Finance Minister Kaspar Villiger exchanged letters today welcoming the agreement as important to the administration and enforcement of the tax laws of each country. The letters express the intent of the two countries to maintain a dialogue with a view to monitoring and improving the functioning of the current Income Tax Convention, and in addition to explore other ways to improve cooperation between the two countries. The letters note that the renegotiation of the Income Tax Convention could enhance the relationship between the two countries.
“I am pleased that this Mutual Agreement on tax information exchange has been reached with Switzerland, a key financial center,” stated Acting Treasury Secretary Kenneth W. Dam. “This Mutual Agreement is a significant step in our efforts to ensure that no safe haven exists anywhere in the world for the funds associated with illicit activities, including tax evasion. I look forward to continuing progress with Switzerland and other financial centers in this important area.”
“Access to needed information is vital to our efforts to ensure full and fair enforcement of our tax laws,” stated Treasury Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy Pamela Olson. “This Mutual Agreement should improve our access to needed information under the current bilateral tax treaty between the United States and Switzerland. We look forward to working with Switzerland to further improve this relationship.
“Treasury is committed to continuing its efforts to improve and expand the U.S.'s broad network of bilateral tax treaties and tax information exchange agreements,” Olson added. “Better tax information exchange relationships will permit the IRS to obtain the information it needs from other countries so it can pursue taxpayers attempting to hide income offshore to avoid their tax obligations.”
The following documents are attached:
Text of the Mutual Agreement
Text of Letter from Acting Treasury Secretary Kenneth Dam
Text of Letter from Swiss Finance Minister Kaspar Villiger