Request for information on bank accounts held by a trust: the characteristics of the trust are irrelevant

The Federal Supreme Court has recently confirmed this in two decisions rendered in relation to requests for information from the Indian tax authorities concerning beneficiaries of irrevocable and discretionary trusts.(2C_918/2020 and 2C_936/2020 of 28.12.2021) the fact that, according to Swiss tax practice, the assets of such trusts are in principle not attributable for tax purposes to their beneficiaries does not mean that the transmission of information on the bank accounts of the trusts should be refused on the grounds that such information would not be foreseeably relevant. The question of whether the information is relevant to the foreign tax proceedings is assessed under the law of the requesting state, while the requested state must limit itself to a plausibility check. Howeverrequiring the Federal tax administration, as the requested authority, to examine how trusts are treated for tax purposes in the legal system of the requesting state would clearly go beyond a plausibility check.