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Now it's really Last Call

He was, unfortunately, really don't have time for a conversation, call the tax consultant of a major Zurich law firm into the phone. "We are currently all around 4 o'clock in the morning and work late into the night." He shoves a "Sorry!". Then he hangs up.

The Swiss consultants are industry experienced intense times. The reason: In five weeks, on 1. January, 2020, the tax reform in force, adopted by the people in may. For many companies, this means a massive changeover. The cantonal profit tax rates will fall. Old privileges fall away. According to the commercial domicile of a variety of new tax instruments are available. Anyone who uses smart can save you from the new year a lot of money.

But not only optimises the fiscal future, but also the presence of must be. With the corporate tax reform, the policy has decided to eliminate several controversial opportunities for tax savings. Or to close, in other words, tax loopholes. Also, that puts the economy under pressure. Who else wants to benefit from the last Time correctly, has only up to 31. December Time. Swift Action is needed now.

With the turn of the year is restricted, for example, the tax-free distribution of dividends introduced by the former Minister of Finance Hans-Rudolf Merz with the corporate tax reform II. So far, the Federal government taxed in the case of large shareholders, only 60 percent of the distributed dividends. From January to 70 percent. In addition, these charges also be increased in many cantons, some of which are even much stronger than in the case of the Federal tax.

The effect is considerable: In the case of a dividend distribution of one Million Swiss francs, the effective tax savings can be quickly tens of thousands of francs. Since it is worthwhile to consult your tax Advisor.

"Strictly, but exciting,"

Of that can tell, for example, Stefan Piller. The Partner and head of Private Clients at the fiduciary and consulting company BDO is currently in particularly close contact with its customers, mainly SMEs and family businesses. "We did it strictly," says Piller, "but it's exciting."

Piller's impression of the practice is clear: "Yes, there is a clear tendency that a dividend distribution will be tested." Many SMEs have reserves saved. "For you, it may be worthwhile at this moment to dissolve," says Piller. However, it is very much on the individual Situation. "Each Canton is responsible for implementing the Reform differently. Therefore, there is no General recipe. We need to look at each company and each shareholder, exactly." In addition to the tax, also legal, and social insurance legal questions would have to be taken into account.

Piller recommends entrepreneurs who have not put up with the tax reform, to go rapidly about the books, especially in relation to a possible dividend payout. "Now it's really Last Call," he says.

How intensively companies are trying to benefit from the favourable conditions, also shows a glimpse into the Federal government Treasury. A good indicator of how lush dividends to be distributed, the revenue from the withholding tax. Here, the Federal government recorded since the beginning of the year, a real money rain. At the end of September, the balance stood at 16.6 billion Swiss francs. 2.8 billion Swiss francs – or 20 percent – more than for the same period in the previous year. This is evident from the information note to the financial politicians in the Parliament.

Anger and understanding in the policy

Although enjoy between the results in this item of Revenue of the Federal government with caution, in the case of the Swiss Federal tax administration (FTA) is suspected but a connection with the tax reform.

"There is evidence that a portion of these revenues is due to the fact that the company prior to the tax reform dividends," says FTA Economist Alowin Moes. "For the qualifying shareholders, it is a last opportunity for excess capital tax-effective to distribute."

companies that are listed on a Swiss stock exchange, have until the end of the year, a further possibility to optimize taxes . Of Olivier Eichenberger, Director of the Department of enterprise, tells taxes at KPMG. "The so-called capital contribution reserves can still be converted up to the end of the year in the share capital and then next year free of tax to be paid," he says. Various Swiss companies would have anticipated this conversion also. "This limited-time gap taken by the legislator, but aware," says Eichenberger.

"This is ugly. But, unfortunately, with reforms often such effects."Anita Fetz, SP-Councillor of state

the company and major shareholders, to abolish again the Full scoop, even though the policy has decided that these tax tricks, triggers in the Federal house different reactions. SP-Councillor Anita Fetz, who has fought against tax discounts in the case of dividend taxation, said: "This is ugly. But, unfortunately, with reforms often such effects." It is only through a retroactive enactment of such behavior to prevent, so Fetz could. "But the principle of legal security violated."

Quite different Erich Ettlin sees this. "Of course, companies and shareholders to react to such a Reform," says the CVP-Ständerat and tax expert. "If it is within the law the opportunity to reduce the tax burden, why not do it? I guess that makes every one of us."

Created: 22.11.2019, 17:59 PM

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