Switzerland news: Referendum on FATCA?

Several Swiss sources are reporting that a committee has been formed to push a referendum against the FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) agreement which Switzerland has recently signed with the US. The committee has 100 days to gather 50.000 signatures for the referendum to go ahead.

Members of the committee include:

– the Lega Nord, a right-wing anti-immigration party.

–  a group calling itself Young4Fun (“Youth for a Neutral and Independent Switzerland”) which is against “any foreign decision which harms our country” and in favour of maintaining military service.

– The Swiss Pirate Party.

There do not seem to be public opinion poll results yet on the possible outcomes of a referendum.

Hattip: @TransparencyEU via twitter.


2 thoughts on “Switzerland news: Referendum on FATCA?

  1. Pingback: Switzerland news: Referendum on FATCA?

  2. “The print-edition of the Handelszeitung (HZ) has an interview with the Paolo Cornaro (PC), CEO of Corner Bank, a credit-card bank in Switzerland. He seems to indicate that the tax deal between the Swiss and the US governments is more about extortion than about an agreement (translated):

    “HZ: The US tax dispute is further along. How do you judge the agreement?
    PC: This program, which I cannot characterize as an agreement with good conscience, strikes all banks as a block. It does not make a distinction between banks which consciously went on American soil to acquire customers and those banks, to name an extreme example, that opened accounts for two Swiss who were also coincidentally in possession of US citizenship. We know today which banks are Category 1. Since we never actively pursued American customers, we should be in Category 3. With this view, however, we are exposed to the risk in the event that documentation is not water-tight that we would have to accept additional liability.
    HZ: You must decide no later than December 9.
    PC: It certainly could happen that there are banks which will not be so far. We will classify ourselves in Category 2 in order to avoid further discussions and risk a penalty. We have American customers who are properly declared. The program’s concept is however that all are tax evaders. Then we must prove that this is not the case.
    HZ: What kind of penalty are you looking at?
    PC: I cannot and do not want to mention a number. We want to close a chapter by paying a penalty and then can we look forward again.
    HZ: You will pay in order to have peace and quiet.
    PC: Yes. We found ourselves in a similar situation in connection with the “unidentified accounts” matter. Our bank was founded in 1952 so there was certainly no unidentified accounts coming out of the war. We decided to pay anyway. Towards the end of the matter the actions were directed at all Swiss banks. If we wanted to continue with a US dollar clearing account, we had to pay. It didn’t matter whether we were guilty or not. We booked the payment as a solidarity contribution. Also at that time we wanted to simply conclude the matter.””


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