FBR team to visit Switzerland on August 25 for information sharing of black money

KARACHI: A two-member team of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is visiting Switzerland on August 25 to discuss money transferred by Pakistani individuals and corporate entities to Swiss banks, sources told Customnews.pk.
The sources said that Tariq Bajwa, Chairman, FBR will lead the team. Presently, the FBR is working on ways to utilize avoidance of double taxation treaty with Switzerland.
Different estimates revealed that about $250 billion have been transferred to Swiss banks by Pakistanis and imposition of tax at average 25 percent may yield about $62.5 billion that is almost equivalent to burden of external loan on Pakistan.
The information sharing the country become possible after the Swiss Parliament passed the landmark ‘Return of Illicit Assets Act, 2010’ bill, enabling developing economies to recover billions of dollars of black money transferred by individuals and corporate entities to that country.
The source said that after the enactment of the legislation it was possible to retrieve money from Switzerland under article 25(1) of the avoidance of double taxation treaty between Pakistan and Switzerland, which clearly makes it obligatory on Switzerland to provide information regarding Pakistanis maintaining accounts in Switzerland.
Article 25(1) of the tax treaty between Pakistan and Switzerland says: “The competent authorities of the contracting states shall exchange such information (being information which is at their disposal under their respective taxation laws in the normal course of administration) as is necessary for carrying out the provisions of this convention in relation to the taxes which are the subject of this convention.”
Recently, countries such as the US, UK, Germany, Argentina, Mali, Mexico, Kazakhstan and India had approached the Swiss authorities for exchange of information.

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