On June 25 2018, an amendment to Directive 2011/16/EU
(DAC6), came into force, which may have a significant impact on
Swiss entities. DAC6 requires the disclosure of certain
cross-border tax planning arrangements to the local tax
authorities. While the rules do not apply in Switzerland
directly, Swiss intermediaries may be affected if they have
operations or otherwise provide services in any EU country.
Even purely Swiss intermediaries that serve EU clients should
carefully consider the impact of DAC6.
Any person who designs, markets, organises, makes available
for implementation or manages the implementation of a
reportable cross-border arrangement (or who has provided aid,
assistance or advice on such an arrangement) is considered to
be an intermediary. If the intermediary also meets one of the
following criteria, they are captured by the mandatory
disclosure rules set out in DAC6:
- Resident in an EU member state;
- Provides the above services through a
permanent establishment in an EU member state;
- Incorporated or governed by the laws of an
EU member state;
- Registered with a professional association
related to legal, taxation or consultancy services in an EU
For example, a Swiss bank which maintains branches in one or
more EU countries will be directly affected and will be
considered an EU intermediary under the new rules. Likewise, a
Swiss consultancy firm registered with an EU-based professional
services association falls within the scope of DAC6.
Additionally, any EU-incorporated entity with a place of
effective management in Switzerland will still be affected,
even though the entity is considered a Swiss tax resident. In
all these cases, Swiss entities are considered intermediaries
and will be required to report certain cross-border
arrangements to the respective EU tax authorities.
One further requirement will impact Swiss entities, even if
they have no presence in the EU. DAC6 contains provisions that
require a tax resident of any EU member state to report the
arrangement if no intermediary does. This means that any Swiss
entity advising on cross-border arrangements involving an EU
resident client should understand the client service impact and
consider informing its clients of their reporting obligations.
Practically speaking, any intermediary that serves EU clients
should be familiar with the mandatory disclosure rules imposed
by the EU.
Next steps for Swiss entities
Swiss-headquartered groups should identify entities directly
affected, including assessing whether a Swiss entity is active
in an EU country. Next, a potential intermediary should perform
an impact assessment to identify whether the services provided
fall within the scope of DAC6.
In our discussions in the Swiss market, local intermediaries
are struggling to articulate the impact and next steps to
internal stakeholders. We recommend that, for internal
stakeholder discussions, Swiss intermediaries consider the
end-client impact of cross-border arrangements involving EU tax
Given that all relevant cross-border arrangements that
entered into force after June 25 2018 are in-scope, the time to
act is now.
Michael Grebe (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Marnix Kippersluis (email@example.com)
Tel: +41 58 279 6248 and +41 58 279 6881