Switzerland is one of the founding members of the OECD and actively contributes towards the attainment of the organisation’s goals, explain Christoph Suter and Susanne Schreiber of Bär & Karrer. In continuation of this commitment, the country pledged its full support to the OECD/G20 BEPS project and actively contributed to the 15-point plan to address base erosion and profit shifting.
Switzerland is known for its high standard of living, political and financial stability, climate for innovation and excellent academic reputation, but is poor in terms of natural resources and has only a small domestic market and a high cost level, note Peter Brülisauer and Manuel Angehrn of Deloitte. Switzerland has to compensate for these market-based disadvantages with a competitive tax system.
In the fight against harmful tax practices and to achieve tax transparency, Switzerland does not rest as a mere spectator, write Jean-Blaise Eckert and Frédéric Neukomm of Lenz & Staehelin. The Swiss Federal Council has adopted and amended various conventions, acts and ordinances following international tax standards and the OECD’s BEPS project, notably in exchange of information.
All good things are worth waiting for. As such, the long-awaited partial revision of the Swiss VAT Act was finally put into force as of January 1 2018. Laurent Lattmann and Désirée Högger from Tax Partner – Taxand Switzerland expect this will mean closer alignment of the way Swiss and foreign suppliers are treated, and explore how foreign companies must apply the new rules when supplying goods and services to Switzerland.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, banking secrecy has been one of the major marketing points of the famous Swiss banking system, write Jean-Blaise Eckert and Frédéric Neukomm of Lenz & Staehelin. Traditionally, therefore, Switzerland limited any exchange of banking information with foreign states to the minimum.