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Är tidigare gömda tillgångar i Schweiz nu tillgängliga för Skatteverket? En analys av den nya informationsutbytesklausulen

Sundeborn Eriksson, Linn LU (2012) JURM02 20122
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Den 5 augusti 2012 trädde en lagändring gällande skatteavtalet mellan Sverige och Schweiz i kraft. I och med lagändringen så införs bland annat en helt ny bestämmelse om informationsutbyte. Bestämmelsen överensstämmer i stora delar med motsvarande bestämmelse i OECD:s modellavtal. I två avseenden skiljer sig skatteavtalets ordalydelse från modellavtalets. Det rör sig om två tillägg som finns i skatteavtalet men som inte finns i modellavtalets lydelse. Det ena tillägget är föreslaget i kommentaren till modellavtalet och det andra möjliggör för Schweiz att kunna inhämta den efterfrågade informationen. Karaktären av dessa båda skillnader gör att det inte i stort påverkar huruvida skatteavtalet överensstämmer med modellavtalet. Den stora... (More)
Den 5 augusti 2012 trädde en lagändring gällande skatteavtalet mellan Sverige och Schweiz i kraft. I och med lagändringen så införs bland annat en helt ny bestämmelse om informationsutbyte. Bestämmelsen överensstämmer i stora delar med motsvarande bestämmelse i OECD:s modellavtal. I två avseenden skiljer sig skatteavtalets ordalydelse från modellavtalets. Det rör sig om två tillägg som finns i skatteavtalet men som inte finns i modellavtalets lydelse. Det ena tillägget är föreslaget i kommentaren till modellavtalet och det andra möjliggör för Schweiz att kunna inhämta den efterfrågade informationen. Karaktären av dessa båda skillnader gör att det inte i stort påverkar huruvida skatteavtalet överensstämmer med modellavtalet. Den stora skillnaden ligger istället i att skatteavtalet endast innebär en skyldighet att utbyta information på begäran medan modellavtalet tillåter även andra typer av utbyte, såsom automatiskt och spontant. Sammanfattningsvis ger därmed skatteavtalet möjlighet till ett mer begränsat utbyte än vad modellavtalet gör.

Bestämmelsen om informationsutbyte i skatteavtalet innebär att sådan information som kan antas vara relevant i skatteärenden ska utbytas. I tilläggsprotokollet till skatteavtalet stadgas att detta innebär att vidast möjliga informationsutbyte ska ske men att bestämmelsen bland annat inte tillåter fishing expeditions. Begreppet fishing expedition är därmed en del av den bortre gränsen för bestämmelsens tillämpningsområde. Någon klar definition av begreppet finns dock varken i skatteavtalet eller i någon svensk eller internationell doktrin.

Begreppet fishing expeditions i skatteavtalet mellan Sverige och Schweiz innebär att en pågående utredning krävs i den anmodande staten för att utbyte ska kunna ske. Dessutom krävs det att vissa uppgifter ska framgå av den förfrågan som skickas till den anmodade staten. Identiteten på personen under utredning är en av dessa uppgifter. Vilka uppgifter som krävs för att en identifiering ska anses ha skett är beroende av personens förmåga att särskiljas och är därmed svårt att uttala sig om på förhand. De fall där omfattande uppgifter har presenterats utan att identifiering har kunnat ske bör dock utgöra undantagsfall. Utöver detta ska även uppgifter rörande tidsperiod för den efterfrågade informationen, vissa uppgifter om den efterfrågade informationen och uppgifter om vilket beskattningsändamål förfrågan avser uppges.

Skatteavtalets bestämmelse om informationsutbyte möjliggör därmed utbyte endast i de fall där personen med tillgångar i Schweiz redan är känd av SKV. I de fall SKV inte känner till att en person har tillgångar i Schweiz kan den informationen inte komma SKV till del genom bestämmelsen och informationen är därmed fortfarande gömd. Informationen kan dock ändå komma SKV till del genom att personen själv informerar SKV om tillgångarna i sin deklaration eller genom en frivillig rättelse. (Less)
Abstract
On August 5th 2012, an amendment to the tax treaty between Sweden and Switzerland entered into force. With this amendment, a new provision on exchange of information was introduced. The provision is largely equal to the corresponding provision in the OECD model convention. However, the wording of the tax treaty differs from the model convention in two aspects, it regards two additions which are included in the tax treaty but do not exist in the model convention. One of these additions is suggested in the commentary to the model convention, while the other addition enables Switzerland to collect requested information. The character of these differences does not imply a significant impact on the conformity of the tax treaty with the model... (More)
On August 5th 2012, an amendment to the tax treaty between Sweden and Switzerland entered into force. With this amendment, a new provision on exchange of information was introduced. The provision is largely equal to the corresponding provision in the OECD model convention. However, the wording of the tax treaty differs from the model convention in two aspects, it regards two additions which are included in the tax treaty but do not exist in the model convention. One of these additions is suggested in the commentary to the model convention, while the other addition enables Switzerland to collect requested information. The character of these differences does not imply a significant impact on the conformity of the tax treaty with the model convention. Rather, the essential difference lies with the fact that the tax treaty only obliges an exchange of information on request, while the model convention also approves other forms of exchange, such as spontaneous and automatic exchange. In summary, the tax treaty provides a more restricted exchange than the model convention.

The exchange of information provision in the tax treaty implies that information foreseeably relevant in tax matters shall be exchanged. The amended protocol to the tax treaty states that this means that exchange of information should be provided to the widest possible extent. However, the provision does not allow fishing expeditions. Hence, the term fishing expedition is part of the edge of the application of the provision, although a definition of the term does not exist in either the tax treaty nor in any Swedish or international doctrine.

The term fishing expedition used in the tax treaty between Sweden and Switzerland implies that an ongoing investigation is required in the requesting state in order for information to be exchanged. In addition, it is required that certain important details are presented in the request sent to the requested state. The identity of the person under investigation is one of these details. The details required for an identification to be considered made depend on the person’s ability to be distinguished, and are therefore difficult to comment on beforehand. However, the situations in which extensive details have been presented without a successful identification should only occur in exceptional cases. In addition to this, details regarding the time period for the requested information, the requested information and which tax purpose the request regards should be stated.

Hence, the provision of the tax treaty on exchange of information only enables exchange of information when the person with assets in Switzerland is already known to the STA. If the STA does not know about a person’s assets in Switzerland, this information cannot be presented to the STA through this provision, and therefore it is still concealed. However, the information can still be presented to the STA if the person in question chooses to personally inform the STA about the assets. (Less)
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author
Sundeborn Eriksson, Linn LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Are previously hidden assets in Switzerland now available to the Swedish Tax Agency? An analysis of the exchange of information clause
course
JURM02 20122
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Skatterätt
language
Swedish
id
3327280
date added to LUP
2013-01-28 13:14:46
date last changed
2013-01-28 13:14:46
@misc{3327280,
  abstract     = {On August 5th 2012, an amendment to the tax treaty between Sweden and Switzerland entered into force. With this amendment, a new provision on exchange of information was introduced. The provision is largely equal to the corresponding provision in the OECD model convention. However, the wording of the tax treaty differs from the model convention in two aspects, it regards two additions which are included in the tax treaty but do not exist in the model convention. One of these additions is suggested in the commentary to the model convention, while the other addition enables Switzerland to collect requested information. The character of these differences does not imply a significant impact on the conformity of the tax treaty with the model convention. Rather, the essential difference lies with the fact that the tax treaty only obliges an exchange of information on request, while the model convention also approves other forms of exchange, such as spontaneous and automatic exchange. In summary, the tax treaty provides a more restricted exchange than the model convention.

The exchange of information provision in the tax treaty implies that information foreseeably relevant in tax matters shall be exchanged. The amended protocol to the tax treaty states that this means that exchange of information should be provided to the widest possible extent. However, the provision does not allow fishing expeditions. Hence, the term fishing expedition is part of the edge of the application of the provision, although a definition of the term does not exist in either the tax treaty nor in any Swedish or international doctrine. 

The term fishing expedition used in the tax treaty between Sweden and Switzerland implies that an ongoing investigation is required in the requesting state in order for information to be exchanged. In addition, it is required that certain important details are presented in the request sent to the requested state. The identity of the person under investigation is one of these details. The details required for an identification to be considered made depend on the person’s ability to be distinguished, and are therefore difficult to comment on beforehand. However, the situations in which extensive details have been presented without a successful identification should only occur in exceptional cases. In addition to this, details regarding the time period for the requested information, the requested information and which tax purpose the request regards should be stated.

Hence, the provision of the tax treaty on exchange of information only enables exchange of information when the person with assets in Switzerland is already known to the STA. If the STA does not know about a person’s assets in Switzerland, this information cannot be presented to the STA through this provision, and therefore it is still concealed. However, the information can still be presented to the STA if the person in question chooses to personally inform the STA about the assets.},
  author       = {Sundeborn Eriksson, Linn},
  keyword      = {Skatterätt},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Är tidigare gömda tillgångar i Schweiz nu tillgängliga för Skatteverket? En analys av den nya informationsutbytesklausulen},
  year         = {2012},
}