The U.S. Department of the Treasury
announced today that it has signed a bilateral agreement with Switzerland to facilitate
the implementation of the information reporting and withholding tax provisions
commonly known as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).
“Today’s announcement marks a
significant step forward in our efforts to work collaboratively to combat
offshore tax evasion,” said Acting Secretary of the Treasury Neal S. Wolin. “We
are pleased that Switzerland has signed a bilateral agreement with us, and we
look forward to quickly concluding agreements based on this model with other
Enacted by Congress in 2010, FATCA
targets non-compliance by U.S. taxpayers using foreign accounts. The bilateral
agreement signed today is the first based on the model published in November of
2012 – the second of two model agreements – and marks another important step in
establishing a common approach to combatting tax evasion.
Switzerland is one of eight countries
that have signed or initialed an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) which helps
to facilitate the effective and efficient implementation of FATCA. In addition
to the previously announced countries, Treasury initialed an IGA with Italy on
January 24. Treasury is engaged with more than 50 countries and jurisdictions
to curtail offshore tax evasion, and more signed agreements are expected to
follow in the near future.
On January 17, 2013, the Treasury
Department and the IRS finalized the regulations implementing FATCA, providing additional
certainty for financial institutions and government counterparts about the process
for U.S. account identification, information reporting, and withholding
requirements for foreign financial institutions (FFIs), other foreign entities,
and U.S. withholding agents.
Updates and further information on
FATCA can be found by visiting the Treasury FATCA page at www.treasury.gov/resource-center/tax-policy/treaties/Pages/FATCA.aspx
The agreement can be found at http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/tax-policy/treaties/Documents/FATCA-Agreement-Switzerland-2-14-2013.pdf