AEOI – automatic exchange of information

All information on AEOI at a glance

The automatic exchange of information (AEOI) is a standard process developed by the OECD in order to prevent tax evasion. Find out which information is exchanged, who is affected and which partner states Switzerland has drawn up an AEOI agreement with here.

Key elements of AEOI

The automatic exchange of information (AEOI) is a standard process developed by the OECD in order to prevent tax evasion. Participating countries share data with one another about taxpayers’ bank accounts and securities custody accounts. Switzerland has undertaken to take part. Consequently, PostFinance is obliged to report details of the accounts of customers whose residence for tax purposes is located abroad to the Federal Tax Administration (FTA) each year, provided that Switzerland has signed an AEOI agreement with the relevant partner state. 

  • If the tax residence of a customer is located abroad, PostFinance transmits the following information to partner states:

    • Personal data
    • Name
    • Address
    • Country of tax residence
    • Tax identification number
    • Date of birth 
    • Account information
    • Account number
    • Total gross income from dividends, interest and other revenue
    • Total gross proceeds from the disposal of assets
    • Total balance or value of the account at the end of the relevant calendar year
  • From 1 January 2017, all customers must declare their tax residency to PostFinance by means of self-certification when entering into a new business relationship or if their situation changes (e.g. change of domicile address) so that PostFinance can document this information accordingly.

  • The automatic exchange of information concerns natural persons and legal entities whose residence for tax purposes is in a country with which Switzerland has signed an agreement on the automatic exchange of information. 

  • 1. Entering personal details

    Your personal details have already been filled out in the self-certification form. If the details are no longer correct, please inform us of the correct details.

    2. Entering tax residency

    Tax residency is determined by the country-specific regulations for unlimited liability for taxation. The relevant factors governing unlimited liability for taxation vary depending on the country. The following residency principles are common:

    • Permanent place of residence under civil law
    • Place where vital interests are centered
    • Usual residency
    • Citizenship

    If a person is considered to have unlimited liability for taxation due to country-specific regulations in more than one country, then the double taxation agreement (DTA) between both countries should be used to determine the tax residency where necessary. The “tie-breaker” rules determine in which country a person is tax resident in such cases. If no DTA between these countries exists which allocates the tax residency to one of the two countries, then a person is considered to be resident in both countries for the purposes of automatic exchange of information about financial accounts.
    Please enclose a copy of your ID or confirmation of your residence so we can verify the plausibility of your tax residency.

    3. Entering the tax identification number (TIN)

    The tax identification number (TIN) is a combination of letters and/or numbers which serves to identify the taxpayer. You will generally find your tax identification number on your tax return.

    Information about TIN:

    4. Authorized to sign

    The self-certification form must be signed by the account holder. The account holder is the contractual partner of an account and/or custody account relationship. Generally, if a collective relationship (partner relationship) exists, each co-holder is an account holder and each signs a separate self-certification form. For minors or persons subject to a deputy, the legal guardian or deputy signs the self-certification form. For a gift savings account, the depositor must complete and sign the self-certification form made out to them.

  • The list of partner states with which Switzerland has signed an agreement on the automatic exchange of information is continually updated by the State Secretariat for International Financial Matters (SIF).

  • In accordance with the AEOI Act and the Federal Act on Data Protection (FADP), persons obliged to provide information have the following rights:

    With regard to PostFinance

    Persons obliged to provide information can claim full legal protection in accordance with the FADP with regard to PostFinance. In other words, they can request details about the information about themselves that has been reported to the FTA as collected by PostFinance.

    If so requested, PostFinance must issue persons obliged to provide information with a copy of the report sent to the FTA. Fiscally-relevant information that has been reported to the FTA may differ from the data that has been collected. Furthermore, persons obliged to provide information may ask for incorrect data to be rectified in PostFinance’s systems. 

    With regard to the FTA

    The only right that a person obliged to provide information can assert with regard to the FTA is the right to information, under which they may request the rectification of incorrect data due to transmission errors. 

    If the transmission of data results in disadvantages that the person obliged to provide information cannot reasonably be expected to accept due to insufficient constitutional guarantees, such persons shall be granted the rights set out in article 25a of the Administrative Procedure Act. 
     

    Persons obliged to provide information are not entitled to exercise the right of access to files with regard to the FTA. Consequently, they have no right to prevent the disclosure of personal data to the FTA. In addition, the person obliged to provide information cannot verify the legality of the disclosure of information abroad or demand the prevention of unlawful disclosure or the destruction of data which has been processed without sufficient legal grounds.

    Validity in Switzerland and impact on other regulations 
    The AEOI came into effect on 1 January 2017. It replaces the international withholding tax agreements between Switzerland and Austria and Switzerland and the United Kingdom respectively, as well as the EU agreement on the taxation of savings income.