The assertion from Switzerland, which has been long perceived as a safe haven for stashing illicit wealth, comes close on the heels of the Alpine nation inking an initial pact for automatic exchange of tax information with European Union.

Apart from aggressively making efforts to procure details of its citizens having unaccounted money in Swiss banks, India has proposed a stringent law to tackle the issue of black money allegedly stashed abroad, including in Swiss banks.

Facing international pressure on the issue of black money, Switzerland has expressed readiness to embrace a global framework for Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) on tax matters.

Citing discussions between officials of both sides last October, a Swiss Federal Department of Finance spokesperson said that talks on automatic exchange of tax information would start at the earliest once the domestic procedures are completed in Switzerland.

Last year, Indian and Swiss officials held high level deliberations on boosting co-operation with regard to the black money problem.

"Switzerland took note of the interest expressed by India and it was agreed between Revenue Secretary Shaktikanta Das and State Secretary Jacques de Watteville that talks will commence at the earliest after completion of Swiss domestic procedures regarding the approval of the legal foundations for automatic exchange of information," the official said.

Last October, the Swiss Federal Council approved the negotiating mandates for the government to move forward with the automatic tax information exchange mechanism.

In the initial phase, "consideration will be given to countries with which there are very close economic and political ties and which, if appropriate, provide their taxpayers with sufficient scope under national law for regularisation of undeclared assets," the official said.

Under the framework, prepared by Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), more than 40 jurisdictions including India have agreed to become 'early adopters' of an 'automatic exchange of information' mechanism.

This early adopters group plans to collect data from 2016 and exchange information for the first time in September 2017.

Switzerland would see its 'first exchange' under this framework taking place in the year 2018, including with India.

As many as 58 countries would see their 'first exchange' taking place in 2017, followed by another 35 in the year 2018.

While India is part of the 'First Exchange 2017' group, it would have to wait till 2018 for 'automatic exchange of information' with Switzerland because of the Alpine nation being in the second grouping.

The details that would be shared include account number, name, address and date of birth, tax identification number, interest and dividends, receipts from certain insurance policies, credit balances on accounts, as also proceeds from the sale of financial assets.

As per the exchange process, if a taxpayer in a Country A has a bank account in Country B, the bank would disclose financial account data to authorities in the Country B, which would automatically forward the details to authorities in Country A to help them examine the data.

Once in place, the mechanism would help the Indian authorities to have a strong ground while seeking to bring back and tax the funds stashed overseas by its citizens.

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