A few years ago, the Swiss Government put many of its eggs into a corporate tax reform basket called Corporate Tax Reform III (incidentally, does anyone remember Corporate Tax Reform I or II? Is this a rare case of a sequel being more memorable than the original?). These are intended to remove a series of “harmful” tax regimes and generally bring Switzerland’s tax regime into line with international tax standards, while also ensuring the country remains competitive on tax. However, the proposals were somewhat cruelly struck down at the very last legislative hurdle as the people voted against them in a referendum.
Fearing the wrath of the European Union and yet another reputational battering, the Swiss Government had little choice but to almost immediately pick itself up, dust itself down, and start writing the script for CTR IV, which eventually became … Read More »
As far as taxation goes, preparation and planning have long been integral to a successful business or investment strategy, no more so than in today’s post-BEPS, uber transparent world. The tax headlines are littered with seemingly well-prepared companies with well-staffed tax departments, embroiled in long, expensive disputes with the tax authorities. So woe betide any taxpayer who jumps into the world of international trade and commerce without having given thought to the tax consequences.
However, sometimes taxpayers can find themselves in an impossible position, planning for outcomes that are unknown. In Europe, both the United Kingdom and the European Union have been urging businesses to prepare for the possibility of a no-deal Brexit. Which must be a bit like asking them to plot a course on a map which has had all the names of the roads, towns, and cities deleted. … Read More »
The European Union’s proposed VAT reforms is a polarizing topic. According to European Commissioner for Taxation, Pierre Moscovici, the so-called definitive EU VAT regime will make life easier for EU companies trading across borders, slash red tape, and simplify VAT-related procedures – “in short, good news for business, consumers, and national budgets, bad news for fraudsters.”
Au contraire, argues CFE Tax Advisers Europe, a Brussels-based umbrella association of European tax advisers. According to CFE, under the definitive VAT regime, SMEs will face “considerable difficulties and expense” in determining what rates of VAT to charge and, far from actually encouraging intra-EU trade, “the proposals will have the reverse effect.”
So, who’s right? Will the definitive VAT system be the best thing to happen to businesses in the EU in recent years, or a definitive tax disaster? It’s impossible to say. But that so … Read More »