During the course of domestic tax evasion investigations, the German authorities seized a certain amount of items of data concerning UBS accounts in Switzerland. These data items appear to have been transmitted by the German authorities to foreign tax administrations, including France, Spain, Sweden and the Netherlands. German prosecution authorities have seized a substantial amount of accounts details within a raid conducted in May 2013 within the premises of UBS Deutschland AG in May 2013.
On May 16th 2017 the Swiss Federal Tax Administration has published a notification concerning a request made on October 20th 2016 by the Swedish Tax Agency to provide information concerning presumed Swedish taxpayers as identifiable based on bank account numbers each linked to a code «domicile: Sweden» as assigned by the bank UBS AG.
The Swedish Tax Agency requests information about the account holder and beneficial owners of accounts with UBS as well as their account balances from January 1st 2012 to December 31 2015.
The persons concerned by the request of the Swedish Tax Agency are the Swedish tax payers holding a bank account with UBS between January 1st 2012 and December 31st 2015.
The Swiss Federal Tax Administration invites Swedish clients of UBS Switzerland SA to contact the Bank and to obtain an SEI reference number (SEI stands for service of information exchange in tax matters).
The assistance procedure in Switzerland allows the holder of a bank account the information concerning which is liable to be transmitted to the Swedish authorities to oppose the Swedish request and to put forward his legal arguments for doing so.
Clients who wish to take part in the Swiss proceedings and to challenge the exchange of information requested must choose a notification address in Switzerland by appointing a Swiss Attorney-at-law to represent them.
Once the SEI number has been obtained from UBS, it must be sent by June 5th 2016 to the Swiss Federal Tax Administration together with a notification address in Switzerland (by designating a Swiss attorney as a representative before the Federal Tax Administration) in order to receive all communications sent by said Administration.
Clients who have given a notification address in Switzerland will automatically be deemed a party to the proceedings in Switzerland and will be able to put forward their legal and factual arguments within the framework of the opposition to the Swedish request for assistance in fiscal matter.
The Federal Tax Administration will issue a decision concerning each account after having heard the legal arguments of the client. A decision of the Federal Tax Administration may be appealed before two separate Courts, first of all before the Federal Administrative Court and then finally before the Swiss Federal Supreme Court.
In our opinion, the request for assistance from the Swedish government seems inadmissible under Swiss law as it appears to be and information fishing expedition based on data obtained illegally under Swiss law.
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18 May 2017