Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf
International Tax Review is part of the Delinian Group, Delinian Limited, 4 Bouverie Street, London, EC4Y 8AX, Registered in England & Wales, Company number 00954730
Copyright © Delinian Limited and its affiliated companies 2023

Accessibility | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Modern Slavery Statement

Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf

Head of Federal Department of Finance, Switzerland

Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf
  • 2001 - 2007: President, Conference of Cantonal Finance Directors; Executive Committee, Conference of Cantonal Governments

  • 2004 - 2007: Member, Bank Council, Swiss National Bank

  • December 1 2007: Became federal councillor (equivalent of government minister)

  • January 1 2008 - October 1 2010: Head of the Federal Department of Justice and Police

  • November 1 2010 - present: Head of Federal Department of Finance

  • 2011: Vice-president, Federal Council

  • 2012: President, Swiss Confederation

Talk about having a lot to deal with.

If any finance minister was at the centre of most of the controversial tax issues in 2013, mainly to do with the exchange of tax information, it was Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf of Switzerland. From January 16, when the Federal Council decided to enact the Tax Administrative Assistance Act dealing with administrative assistance under double taxation agreements up to November 29, when the council announced enhanced due diligence that Swiss banks have to follow to ensure they do not accept untaxed assets, and also gave authorisation to the first Swiss banks to cooperate with the US to settle their tax dispute, Widmer-Schlumpf and the Federal Department of Finance have had to deal with a range of issues under the intense gaze of the rest of the world.

Those issues have included double taxation agreements at various stages of development or enactment with Argentina, Australia, China and Hungary, signing its first tax information exchange agreement with the Isle of Man, the results of withholding tax agreements with Austria and the UK, which has seen money transferred from Switzerland to those countries, and the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the US over the implementation of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. In this time, Widmer-Schlumpf has also represented Switzerland at meetings of the G20, as well as other international organisations.

Widmer-Schlumpf has tried to deflect criticism of Switzerland’s attitude to tax affairs by pointing the finger at other countries. After an OECD report to a G20 meeting of finance ministers in Washington, DC in April criticised Switzerland for deficiencies in how it implemented information exchange, Widmer-Schlumpf said her country was committed to global practices on the issue but that every country must do the same, noting that the identification of the beneficial owners of “Anglo-Saxon” trusts needed to improve as well.

Switzerland has been forced to join the rest of the world in becoming less secretive and more open to the idea of sharing tax information about the citizens of other jurisdictions with financial interests there. The impact of Widmer-Schlumpf’s management of these tricky issues in the future will be of keen interest to the rest of the world.

The Global Tax 50 2013

« Previous


View the complete list

more across site & bottom lb ros

More from across our site

The stagnating pay and tax bonuses cap follow slashed payouts for the deals team and business consolidation in the last month
A greater UN role has been secured after disagreements between developed and developing countries over the OECD’s influence in global tax reform
The US-based firm picks up investment fund specialist Ceinwen Rees, while Ireland nearly doubles its corporation tax receipts in three years
The order comes amid controversy over another of David Collard’s companies’ tax and TP affairs
NASSCOM, which represents over 3,000 Indian companies, has argued for the removal of the segmentation rule
The chancellor claims it is the largest business tax cut in modern British history
ITR invites tax firms, in-house teams, and tax professionals to make nominations for the 2024 ITR Tax Awards in the Americas, EMEA, and Asia-Pacific
With a total of 32 new appointments, Hogan Lovells has capitalised on Stroock’s demise
Bech-Bruun was found to have helped a banking client receive over DKK 1 billion in tax refunds based on ‘fictitious transactions’
But Hywel Ball said his view doesn’t mean EY will be doing a second such project