Withholding tax agreement with Austria to be terminated

Press releases, 11.11.2016

The withholding tax agreement between Switzerland and Austria will be terminated on 1 January 2017. The agreement between Switzerland and the EU on the automatic exchange of information in tax matters will enter into force on that date. On 11 November 2016, Switzerland and Austria signed a corresponding agreement in Bern to ensure a smooth transition between the two models.

The withholding tax agreement between Switzerland and Austria entered into force on 1 January 2013. It allowed the regularisation of assets held in Switzerland by Austrian taxpayers and the taxation of income generated by these assets based on the Federal Council's financial integrity strategy. In accordance with this agreement, Austrian taxpayers had the option of either paying withholding tax levied directly on their accounts and anonymously transmitted to the Austrian authorities or opting for voluntary disclosure. However, this model loses its reason to exist at all with the introduction of the automatic exchange of information between Switzerland and the EU as of 1 January 2017, which concerns the 28 member states and Gibraltar.

The termination agreement governs in particular the arrangements for transferring the last tax amounts and the forwarding of the last voluntary disclosures to the Austrian tax authorities. The provisions of the withholding tax agreement will continue to apply for all facts and legal rights that materialised during its period of validity. Furthermore, the MoU between the two countries on market access issues will remain in force.

Switzerland also concluded a withholding tax agreement with the United Kingdom which has to be terminated when switching to the automatic exchange of information standard with the EU.

Aufhebungsabkommen mit Österreich(pdf, 40kb)

Address for enquiries:

Beat Werder, Head of Communications
State Secretariat for International Financial Matters SIF
Tel. +41 58 469 79 47, beat.werder@sif.admin.ch


Federal Department of Finance