Switzerland eyes removal from tax 'grey list'
The Finance Minister reports negotiating its 12th bilateral tax agreement, with Finland.Geneva -- Switzerland on Thursday said it had concluded negotiations with a 12th country, Finland, to revise a double-taxation accord, a move that takes it a step closer to coming off a "grey list" of tax havens.
If Bern gets all 12 concluded agreements signed, Switzerland could be removed from the OECD "grey list" of tax havens, said the Swiss Finance Ministry in a statement.
"Signing normally follows some three to five months after," it added.
Faced with international pressure, Switzerland announced earlier in 2009 it would ease banking secrecy rules and offer more assistance on matters involving tax offences.
To this end, it has negotiated similar bilateral deals with Poland, Denmark, Luxembourg, Norway, France, Mexico, the United States, Japan, the Netherlands, Britain and Austria to exchange information in a bid to clamp down on tax cheats.
The tax list by the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development has three categories, with countries put in the bottom category as a means to shame them into making changes.
The so-called "grey" category is in the middle and includes territories that have committed to standards set by the OECD on the exchange of tax information, but which have not yet fully implemented the 12 agreements needed to move to the top category.
AFP / Expatica