Australia’s new tax treaty with Switzerland entered into force on 14 October 2014.
The treaty, which was signed on 30 July 2013, replaces the existing Australia-Switzerland tax treaty which was signed in 1980.
The new treaty will encourage further cross-border investment flows and enhance the strong economic relationship between Australia and Switzerland.
Importantly, the new treaty enables the revenue authorities of Australia and Switzerland to exchange taxpayer information for the purpose of addressing tax evasion.
This is consistent with both Governments’ support for ongoing OECD and G20 initiatives aimed at improving tax transparency and tax system integrity.
The provisions of the new treaty will take effect as specified in the treaty itself.
In relation to cross-border payments of dividends, interest and royalties, new rates of source country taxation will apply from 1 January 2015.
In relation to fringe benefits tax and other Australian taxes covered, the new treaty will take effect for taxation years commencing on or after 1 April 2015 and 1 July 2015 respectively.
In relation to Swiss taxes covered, the new treaty will take effect for taxation years commencing on or after 1 January 2015.
A copy of the new treaty is available on the Treasury website.