International Tax Review is part of the Delinian Group, Delinian Limited, 8 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

Switzerland: Swiss non-financial entities and new bank forms – everyone must tick a box



Sarah Drye

Brandi Caruso

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), effective since July 1 2014, is a US tax law aimed at addressing perceived tax abuse by US persons through the use of offshore accounts. Its broad impact extends to most Swiss entities, including those outside the financial services industry, regardless of any connection with the US. Every Swiss entity will have a FATCA status and will likely receive one or more requests for new FATCA relevant documentation in the next 12-18 months and some preparation is needed. Swiss financial institutions are complying with FATCA to ensure effective business operations (that is, to avoid the 30% FATCA withholding). To comply, they must review and properly document all account holders, including Swiss companies.

Generally, an account holder is required to provide a certification by ticking the relevant box on the form provided by the bank. The US Form W-8BEN-E includes more than 30 boxes to choose from, which requires a Swiss entity to analyse and determine its FATCA classification under the applicable intergovernmental agreement (IGA) or the FATCA Regulations.

Swiss companies are receiving FATCA certification requests as part of routine record maintenance and time sensitive transactions. For example, in situations when:

  • an entity holds (or intends to open) an account with a Swiss bank or insurance company;

  • an entity intends to borrow funds (or guarantee the funds) from a Swiss bank; and

  • a Swiss entity receives payments of relevant US source income such as interest, dividends, capital gains, rents or royalties (including payments received from related parties).

A company's failure to certify its FATCA classification may lead to the closure of its accounts with financial institutions, limited (or denied) access to funding, and/or 30% FATCA withholding on certain payments.

We recommend that Swiss companies determine their FATCA classification and related compliance obligations to ensure they can comply with bank requests and avoid the potential negative implications of non-compliance on efficient business operations.

Sarah Drye (

+41 (0)58 279 8091

Brandi Caruso (

+41 (0)58 279 6397

David McNeil (

+41 (0)58 279 8193



more across site & bottom lb ros

More from across our site

The Brazilian government may be about to align the country’s unique system with OECD standards, but this is a long-awaited TP reform and success is uncertain.
Two months since EU political agreement on pillar two and few member states have made progress on new national laws, but the arrival of OECD technical guidance should quicken the pace. Ralph Cunningham reports.
It’s one of the great ironies of recent history that a populist Republican may have helped make international tax policy more progressive.
Lawmakers have up to 120 days to decide the future of Brazil’s unique transfer pricing rules, but many taxpayers are wary of radical change.
Shell reports profits of £32.2 billion, prompting calls for higher taxes on energy companies, while the IMF warns Australia to raise taxes to sustain public spending.
Governments now have the final OECD guidance on how to implement the 15% global minimum corporate tax rate.
The Indian company, which is contesting the bill, has a family connection to UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak – whose government has just been hit by a tax scandal.
Developments included calls for tax reform in Malaysia and the US, concerns about the level of the VAT threshold in the UK, Ukraine’s preparations for EU accession, and more.
A steady stream of countries has announced steps towards implementing pillar two, but Korea has got there first. Ralph Cunningham finds out what tax executives should do next.
The BEPS Monitoring Group has found a rare point of agreement with business bodies advocating an EU-wide one-stop-shop for compliance under BEFIT.