Switzerland Toughens Due Diligence Requirements

Switzerland Toughens Due Diligence Requirements

The Swiss Federal Council has announced enhancement of due diligence requirements for preventing banks and other financial intermediaries from accepting untaxed assets.

The Federal Council has instructed the Federal Department of Finance (FATF) to submit the relevant consultation draft in the beginning of 2013. The consultation draft will be in line with the revised Financial Action Task Force recommendations.

The future enhancement is the part of Switzerland’s efforts to combat abuses in the area of money laundering and taxation. After the planned implementation of the revised recommendations of the FATF, serious tax offences will be qualified as predicate offences for money laundering. The amendments will be made in the Swiss tax laws, legislation on companies limited by shares and the Anti-Money Laundering Act, and will provide the principles of enhanced due diligence requirements to prevent the acceptance of untaxed assets.

Within the scope of the revised due diligence requirements, the financial intermediary will be able to request a self-declaration from clients on the fulfillment of their tax obligations. The self-declaration will be an indicator of the tax-compliant conduct of the client.

The Federal Department of Finance will also form an independent group of experts for drawing up principles for the further development of Switzerland's financial market strategy.

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