Swiss Corporate Tax Reforms Face Referendum
The Swiss Government has invested a lot of energy and political capital into its efforts to make the Swiss corporate tax regime more internationally acceptable at the same time as appealing. But unlike the vast majority of other countries – perhaps unlike all other countries – on this matter it is answerable not only to parliament, but to the people.
Given recent events, referendums tend to mean one thing for governments, and that’s trouble. The less said about Brexit the better. But Switzerland has had a rather unhappy experience with referendums in the not-so-distant past too. The Government’s previous corporate tax reform legislation, CTR III, was shot down at the last hurdle in a referendum, and the recent news that the reforms proposed as a replacement to CTR III will also be subjected to a public vote couldn’t have filled the Government with massive confidence.
Of course, the spiel on the Federal Finance Department’s website about the new tax reforms suggests that the Government is indeed confident that it has addressed all the issues that led to the rejection of the previous tax reform bill by the public. But apart from some of the detail, can it be said that the replacement tax reform plan is materially different from its predecessor? Anyway, we’ll find out on May 19, when the tax reform referendum is due to take place. That is if Europe still exists by then, and hasn’t imploded into a Brexit-shaped black hole.
For more information on this, and other topical international tax matters, please visit: https://www.cchgroup.com/roles/corporations/international-solutions/research/global-tax-weekly-a-closer-look