Switzerland has started to update or enforce its double tax treaties in order to provide advantageous condition for foreign investors. During November 2015 alone, Switzerland has enforced four new double taxation agreements: with Cyprus, Estonia, Iceland and Uzbekistan. All four conventions contain clauses for administrative assistance and for the promotion of bilateral trade relations.
A new study conducted by a business school in Lausanne places Switzerland on the first position for attracting, developing and retaining talent. The World Talent Report released by the IMD business school also notices that Switzerland is the most competitive country in the world for the past nine years when it comes to its workforce.
According to the Tax Justice Network, Switzerland occupies the first position in the 2015 Financial Secrecy Index. This is the third time in a row Switzerland ranks first in the Secrecy Index. Among the measures helping Switzerland to maintain its position is also the insertion of protocols for the exchange of tax information in its double taxation agreements. Our Swiss lawyers can provide you with detailed information about the country’s banking secrecy regulations.
After signing its double taxation agreement with Argentina, Switzerland also ratified the convention at the end of October, 2015. The new treaty provides for new reduced tax rates and was drafted in accordance with the latest Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s standards. If you need details about the content of the double taxation treaty with Argentina you can ask our Swiss lawyers.
In order to provide a favorable tax system to foreign investors, Switzerland has started to amend or sign new double tax treaties with other countries. The last countries added to Switzerland’s list of double taxation agreements are Albania and Norway. Our Swiss lawyers can provide you with the full list of double tax treaties the country has enforced so far.
After signing a double taxation treaty in May, Switzerland and Oman have also agreed on the ratification of the convention. The Swiss Federal Council approved the ratification after all the cantons have given their consent. For detailed information about the contents of the double taxation treaty with Oman you can refer to our Swiss lawyers.
After the Parliament’s appeals, the Government has decided the implementation of new administrative measures targeting the reduction of red tape for Swiss companies. The House of Representatives has already put in place a series of proposals aiming to decrease the administrative burden. Our Swiss lawyers can offer you information related to the current administrative proceedings for opening companies in this country.
The World Economic Forum named Switzerland as the most competitive international economy for the seventh year in a row. Switzerland is a world leader in business sophistication and also other sectors, according to the World Economic Forum. Our Swiss lawyers can provide you with information about investment opportunities in the country’s most thriving industries.
Switzerland remains one of the favorite investment destinations of foreign businessmen, according to recent surveys. Among all cantons, Zug is the best options for those coming to open a company in Switzerland. However, the Government wants to focus on immigration policies and tax reforms in order to create new opportunities for the other Swiss cantons also. Our lawyers in Switzerland can provide legal advice and consultancy in regards to the overall business environment and economic opportunities offered by this country.
Switzerland is home to some of the largest commodities trading companies in the world which is why the Government has decided it is time to establish new regulations in order to comply with the country’s most important business partners. The Parliament has recently adopted the Financial Market Infrastructure Act which should create better conditions for Swiss commodities trading companies. Our Swiss lawyers will offer you an insight about the provisions of the new legislation.
The Federal Council has decided to postpone the revision of the Swiss withholding tax system and to re-examine all related reforms. The decision was made at the beginning of July and the main reason for the delay was the implementation of the automatic exchange of information (AEOI) system and its effect on the Swiss banking secrecy. Our Swiss lawyers will inform clients about the current withholding tax values.
At the beginning of 2015 Switzerland has concluded negotiations for a new double tax agreement with Liechtenstein. The agreement was signed at the beginning of July and contains information about the taxation of income and capital. This is the first double taxation agreement between the two countries, the first tax treaty referring to employees crossing from Switzerland to Liechtenstein, only.
The Swiss corporate tax legislation has reached its third reform and new amendments were brought to the Corporate Reform Act, the Federal Council announced. The document called the “Corporate Tax Reform Act III” (CTR III) will help the country to attract more foreign investors and ensure Swiss companies will pay the correct tax contributions.
After signing the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters (MCAA) at the end of 2014, the Swiss Federal Council has started to submit dispatches to the Parliament in order to implement the Convention as soon as possible. In order to enhance the cooperation between the Swiss tax authorities and the tax authorities in EU countries, the Federal Council has also established an authority for the automatic exchange of tax information should be set up. Our lawyers in Switzerland may provide you with information about the country’s current tax agreements.
Switzerland ranked 1st in the world in terms of patent filings in 2014, according to the European Patent Office. Swiss companies and citizens filed 848 patent filings per million population. Based on the European Patent Office’s report, Switzerland remains an excellency center in terms of intellectual property.
Among the recent tax treaties Switzerland has initiated is an agreement on the automatic exchange of tax information (AEOI) with the European Union. According to the agreement information will be collected starting with 2017 and the first exchange would begin in 2018. The agreement will enable EU countries to have access to information about taxpayers with bank accounts in Switzerland. The agreement also seems to be supported by Swiss citizens, according to a recent survey.
According to the 2015 Natixis Global Asset Management CoreData Global Retirement Index (GRI), Switzerland is the best country to retire to. This was the second year Switzerland appeared in the study and was already placed on the first place. The GRI is an international instrument used to measure the sustainability of countries worldwide in terms of retirement expectations, needs and purposes. The GRI was launched three years ago and it classifies countries based on 20 performance indicators among which are material wellbeing, health, quality of life and financial status, all after retirement.
At the beginning of this month, Switzerland and Australia have signed a declaration that will enable both countries to introduce an automatic system for exchange of tax information. This is Switzerland’s first international agreement on exchange of tax information. The first step will be to create the legal base for collecting such information.
Switzerland has concluded negotiations for a new double taxation agreement with Liechtenstein that should be enabled at the beginning of 2017. The Swiss Federal Department of Finance announced the end of discussions at the beginning of February and the agreement should be signed this summer. Based on all national approval procedures in both states, the agreement should be enforced at the beginning of 2017.
The Federal Department of Finance released a new report based on which Switzerland still faces many challenges regarding its domestic taxation system. There are also international regulations the country must abide by. The FDF’s annual report on international tax policy and financial market regulation has been approved by the Swiss Federal Council. The FDF report also presents Switzerland’s commitment in the activities of international financial authorities. The Federal Council announced two parallel consultations regarding the automatic system for exchange of tax information that will be enabled in 2018. Discussions will take place until the 21st of April.
Zug is the smallest canton in Switzerland, but it is also the best canton to invest in. The advantages this canton offers are its geographic position right in the heart of Europe, the low taxes applied to companies and political stability. Zug canton is also a very business-friendly region. It is currently the most economically powerful canton in Switzerland, registering an average annual growth of 4%. The canton’s success lies mostly within the tax optimization solutions provided by the local authorities for companies.
Switzerland has decided to cooperate with India on tax exchange information at the beginning of the year. Switzerland’s Finance Minister, Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf has made the information public at the World Economic Forum in Davos when she met the Indian Minister of Finance, Arun Jaitley. The Swiss Minister of Finance also said Switzerland will automatize its exchange information system. As a response, Mr. Arun Jaitley said that India is gathering information and evidence about Swiss bank accounts that will be forwarded to the Swiss authorities in the negotiation process for tax exchange information.
Switzerland continues its tax reforms and revises the rules on tax deduction applied to expatriates until now. The Swiss Federal Department of Finance announces new regulations starting with the beginning of 2016. These changes come after long debates started in 2009 when the legislation on expatriates was in issue.
At the end of 2014 Switzerland decided to make some changes in its taxation system. Therefore, the beginning of 2015 will bring two major changes to the appliance of the country VAT once a new Value-Added Tax Ordinance will be issued. One of these changes targets foreign companies that will be allowed to register for taxation in Switzerland, while the second refers to group taxation.
Aiming for better cooperation, Switzerland has signed a statement with the European Union’s member states for the abolishment of the corporate tax regime, while EU states promise to suspend all countermeasures. Swiss finance minister and EU and EFTA (European Free Trade Area) countries started negotiations in July and in October concluded the agreement.