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The jewel of Europe

13 March 2019

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Switzerland is a peculiar European country. Nestled hundreds of metres into the Alps, it has the GDP and population of an eastern European economy, but houses roughly 30% of the Fortune 500 in some capacity.

In the world of fund management, it may not see the level of currency regional neighbours like Luxembourg may see circulate through its borders on behalf of institutional investors, but to individuals, family offices and private bankers the world over, it has served as a virtual money pit thanks to a long history of banking secrecy laws.

But what makes Switzerland such a desirable place for business? One can argue that historically, it has always had a competitive tax rate, but today, that is a race being lost in Europe as the likes of American giants such as BlackRock and Facebook flock to cities like Budapest and Dublin to set up European operations, where corporate tax rates can hit as low as 9% and 12.5%, respectively.

Globally, that margin is slipping even further as the US largely halves its corporate tax rate to 21%, while the UK's (still Europe) 19% seems negligible to Switzerland's 18%.

It is no surprise then that corporate tax reform has remained a big issue in Switzerland in recent years, with 2019 no exception as tax reform goes to a second referendum in May.

To answer many of your queries, International Tax Review has partnered with several Swiss tax advisors to give you the key tax takeaways for the year ahead on everything from information exchanges, to tax incentives and audits.

We hope you find the 2019 guide useful.

Dan Barabas
Commercial editor
International Tax Review

International Correspondents