Switzerland’s Federal Administrative Court ruled that the tax office cannot release Credit Suisse bank data to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS requested administrative assistance under the 1996 U.S.-Swiss Double Tax Treaty.
The Court said:
“Administrative assistance shall not be granted for presumed tax evasion, even if high amounts are at stake.”
“The mere failure to declare a bank account may be qualified — at the utmost — as a tax evasion, which is not subject to administrative assistance.”
Tax fraud is illegal but tax evasion is not according to Switzerland’s interpretation of the Treaty. Additionally, the IRS request did not include the account holder’s name.
The ruling cannot be appealed.