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India has entered into a tax treaty with Switzerland; Article 26 of the tax treaty which deals with exchange of information between the two countries was reworded by agreement between the two countries and simultaneously a new paragraph 10 was inserted in the Protocol to clarify the understanding of the operation of Article 26 (Notification No. 62/2011 dated 27 December 2011). India and Switzerland have now entered into a Mutual Agreement regarding the interpretation of paragraph 10(b) of the Protocol to the tax treaty to provide as under:-

• One of the requirements under paragraph 10(b) of the Protocol for request of information under Article 26 is that the name of the person(s) under examination or investigation and, if available, other particulars facilitating that person’s identification such as address, date of birth, marital status, tax identification number is required to be provided by the requesting country. This requirement has now been modified to indicate that the requesting country merely identifies the person under examination or investigation and that such identification may be provided by other means than by indicating the name and address of the person concerned. In other words, the requirement has been made more generic in nature.

• Further paragraph 10(b) requires that the name and, if available, address of any person believed to be in possession of the requested information is required to be provided. This condition has been relaxed to provide that the requesting country has to indicate to the extent known, the name and address of any person believed to be in possession of the requested information. In terms of the modified agreement, it appears that the request for information can be made even though the requesting country is not aware of the person believed to possess the information.

• The overriding caveat for request for information continues to be that the request should not be a „fishing expedition‟.

The above agreement will apply for information that relates to any financial year beginning on or after 1 April 2011.

Source : Tax Analysts: Mutual Agreement regarding the interpretation of paragraph 10(b) of Protocol to the Agreement between the SWISS CONFEDERATION and the REPUBLIC OF INDIA

India has entered into a tax treaty with Switzerland; Article 26 of the tax treaty which deals with exchange of information between the two countries was reworded by agreement between the two countries and simultaneously a new paragraph 10 was inserted in the Protocol to clarify the understanding of the operation of Article 26 (Notification No. 62/2011 dated 27 December 2011). India and Switzerland have now entered into a Mutual Agreement regarding the interpretation of paragraph 10(b) of the Protocol to the tax treaty to provide as under:-

·    One of the requirements under paragraph 10(b) of the Protocol for request of information under Article 26 is that the name of the person(s) under examination or investigation and, if available, other particulars facilitating that person’s identification such as address, date of birth, marital status, tax identification number is required to be provided by the requesting country. This requirement has now been modified to indicate that the requesting country merely identifies the person under examination or investigation and that such identification may be provided by other means than by indicating the name and address of the person concerned. In other words, the requirement has been made more generic in nature.

·    Further paragraph 10(b) requires that the name and, if available, address of any person believed to be in possession of the requested information is required to be provided. This condition has been relaxed to provide that the requesting country has to indicate to the extent known, the name and address of any person believed to be in possession of the requested information. In terms of the modified agreement, it appears that the request for information can be made even though the requesting country is not aware of the person believed to possess the information.

·    The overriding caveat for request for information continues to be that the request should not be a fishing expedition.

The above agreement will apply for information that relates to any financial year beginning on or after 1 April 2011.

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