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Switzerland one of 10 countries achieving greater tax transparency, OECD claims

Switzerland tax

Switzerland is one of ten nations to have made progress on ensuring greater tax transparency in recent years, the OECD has claimed.

The country is notorious for being a haven for keeping corporate finances secret, with several high-profile banks recently placed under investigation by authorities.

However, Switzerland has now been rated as being “largely compliant” with the OECD's international standard on the exchange of tax information by request.

The think-tank stressed there was still work to be done, adding that in order to become fully compliant, Switzerland would still need to improve its reporting methods and processes in order to facilitate the process of identifying the owners of bearer shares.

The OECD has also recommended that Switzerland modify its practices in order to ensure that obligations relating to the exchange of information in regard to requests based on stolen data are also met.

Nevertheless, the news will be seen as a positive for authorities, with the issue of tax evasion still a pressing one.
Switzerland is by no means alone, with six other countries also found to be "largely compliant" with the new standard, including Albania, Cameroon, Gabon, Pakistan and Senegal.

Elsewhere, the United Arab Emirates was found to be a “partially compliant” nation due to a substantial backlog of unanswered requests, although the OECD has since noted that the country had only established a unit for the exchange of tax information in 2014.

In total, the OECD's Global Forum on Tax Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes has completed some 235 peer reviews, assigned compliance ratings to 101 jurisdictions after two phases of implementation reviews.

Overall, 22 have been rated “compliant”, 67 as “largely compliant”, and 12 as “partially compliant”, with the organisation claiming that the findings point to a willingness to create greater transparency when it comes to global tax.

The forum's total membership now stands at 135, following Egypt’s recent decision to join. It is largely aimed at offering support to nations looking to implement standards on transparency and data exchange, monitoring the progress of nations looking to engage in the automatic exchange of information. That trend is due to take hold from next year.​