Switzerland breaks taboos, names foreign taxpayers

Alpine nation starts to publish initials of foreigners in tax probes by their country of origin, local newspaper reports

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Switzerland has begun to list names, birthdates and nationalities of foreigners in its federal gazette in response to formal requests by foreign tax authorities, according to Deutsche Welle, which cited a local Sunday Swiss newspaper named “Sonntagzeitung.”

When foreign countries formally appeal to Switzerland’s federal tax body in Berne about their taxpayers, the Swiss government demands that the details it provides stay confidential.

However, the Swiss daily claims that the government has broken a taboo beyond “taboo”, with the country’s official federal gazette starting to provide information about citizens of Spain, India, Netherlands, Germany, Britain, the US and South Korea as well companies in Panama, the Bahamas and Spain.

Switzerland has agreed to share tax information with Australia, while similar agreements are planned to be signed with the US and EU in the near future.

TRTWorld and agencies