Editorial: Positive about its tax future
International Tax Review is part of the Delinian Group, Delinian Limited, 4 Bouverie Street, London, EC4Y 8AX, Registered in England & Wales, Company number 00954730
Copyright © Delinian Limited and its affiliated companies 2024

Accessibility | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Modern Slavery Statement

Editorial: Positive about its tax future

Nowhere are the ethics of international tax competition more closely discussed than in relation to Switzerland.

Supporters of the Swiss approach applaud the government, and the cantonal and local authorities for their aggressive use of the tax system to increase investment, for example, through favourable terms for holding companies. Opponents, such as the European Commission, believe Switzerland does not compete fairly for money from multinational companies, taking valuable funds away from EU member states.

Switzerland's national, cantonal and local tax rules are not all about cutting rates to as low as they can go. As the articles in this guide show, it is a much more sophisticated system than many realise.

Lenz & Staehelin look at the dialogue on tax under way between Switzerland and the EU, and pick out some of the features of Swiss tax rules that make them so attractive to overseas investors.

As far as PwC is concerned, Corporate Tax Reform III, which will review, among other things, obstacles in the system, is key to Switzerland's future as a favourable tax environment. Another article from the same firm considers the importance of a sustainability review if multinational companies want to get the most from using a principal company structure in Switzerland. A third article from PwC warns that Switzerland should beware of making any changes to its VAT law that will be detrimental to investors, for example, in how collective investment vehicles are treated.

While Schellenberg Wittmer acknowledges that the Swiss criminal tax law needs to evolve, it says reformers should bear in mind the effects of any changes on topics such as taxpayers' rights.

Cross-border situations and strict reporting requirements for employers are the focus of changes to the taxation of employee participation plans, explain Burckhardt.

Multinational companies can gain some real advantages from where they exploit their intellectual property and Switzerland is a good place to do that, believes Deloitte. An article from the same firm looks at whether Swiss safe harbour interest rates also apply to cross-border intra-group loans.

KPMG says investors who set up a vehicle to purchase Swiss real estate should have one eye on the time when they want to sell the investment.

And on the topic of an attractive tax system, Tax Partner – Taxand argue that the abolition of issuance stamp duty on debt capital and a wide and growing tax treaty network are two measures that Switzerland has used to stay tax competitive.

Ralph Cunningham

Managing editor

International Tax Review

more across site & bottom lb ros

More from across our site

KPMG has exclusive access to the tool for three years in the UK, giving it an edge over ‘big four’ rivals
But the US tax agency’s advice is consistent with OECD guidance and shouldn’t surprise anyone, other experts tell ITR
A survey of more than 25,000 in-house counsel reveals that diversity initiatives are a high priority when choosing external counsel
The report is aimed at helping 'low-capacity countries', the OECD has claimed
The UK tax agency appears to be going after easier, lower value targets, one lawyer has claimed
Criminal experts have told ITR that the case of Ulf Johannemann emphasises the fine line between tax avoidance and tax evasion
The ATO workers were among nearly 57,000 people who were duped into claiming fake GST refunds, while Kuwait signed a double taxation treaty with the UAE
However, ICAP may not provide the legal certainty of an APA and tax authorities will have limited capacity, experts argue
ITR+ has launched the Talent Tracker, an interactive database that collates reported partner moves across the legal tax market
The tool is available to more than 2,000 PwC tax professionals and is designed to boost client service
Gift this article