Month: January 2018

Income Tax Department on Swiss Bank Accounts

In a move aimed at combating black money stashed abroad, India signed an agreement with Switzerland today that would allow automatic sharing of tax- related information from January 1 next year, the CBDT said.

“With the completion of the parliamentary procedure in Switzerland and signing of mutual agreement, India and Switzerland are set for automatic exchange of information for the period beginning from January 1, 2018,” the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said.

The policy-making body for the Income Tax Department said the agreement was signed by CBDT chairman Sushil Chandra and Swiss Ambassador to India Andreas Baum at the North Block here.

A joint declaration for the implementation of Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) was signed last month between the two sides here and it provided that both countries would start collecting data in accordance with the global standards in 2018 and exchange it from 2019 onwards.

While Switzerland has conformed to the global standards on automatic exchange of information with the signing of the declaration, India, on its part, has promised to safeguard the confidentiality of the data.

“It will now be possible for India to receive from September, 2019 onwards, the financial information of accounts held by Indian residents in Switzerland for 2018 and subsequent years, on an automatic basis,” the government earlier said.

Government in favour of separate regulator for CA

The government is in favour of an independent regulator to oversee compliance with accounting and auditing standards as well as for oversight of audit professionals, Parliament was informed today.

However, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) is of the view that existing framework of the regulator to perform these function is “adequate”.

“The government, however, is of the view that, in addition to the self regulation mechanism existing within the ICAI framework, there is a need for an independent regulator to inter alia oversee compliance with accounting and auditing standards and for oversight of audit professionals,” Minister of State for Corporate Affairs P P Chaudhary said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

Internationally, also independent regulators have been assigned these functions in over 50 countries.

The minister said that steps are underway for establishing the National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA).

The Companies Act provides for setting up of NFRA for recommending to government on formulation and laying down of accounting and auditing policies, adoption of standards, monitoring their compliance and overseeing quality of service of professionals associated with such compliance.