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With low taxes, we are not able to attract

Switzerland is for companies, not a particularly attractive Steuerort. In accordance with the Tax Attractiveness Index the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, she is not fallen in the years 2007 to 2017, from rank 27 to rank 36 back, in front of her only well-known tax havens such as the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands or British island territories, but also in the Netherlands (14. Rank), Ireland (17.) or neighboring countries, such as Austria (20.) and France (30.).

The reason for this is partly radical reforms in a number of countries since 2010, and in turn lowered tax rates. At that time, the Switzerland slipped briefly on rank 46. Thanks to the second corporate tax reform and its implementation in the cantons of you has made, although again some of the places of betting. The whole of Switzerland could not catch up so far.

competitive tax rates

Deborah Schanz, Professor of business administration and is responsible for the tax attraction Index, which says that Switzerland had long been particularly as a location for holding companies attractive. "This time, however, is over," said Schanz. "The tightening of the international rules, particularly through the OECD, have led to a location in fact, entrepreneurial activities must be present."

Thus, the tax competition shifts the tax rates. "This is the easiest and most obvious comparison for the company," says Schanz. "Many countries in Europe have faster than Switzerland carried out reforms, and are now highly attractive, such as the Netherlands or Ireland." The Professor expects that this development will continue.

image to enlarge

The tax rates are, however, also a weak point of the index, at least when it comes to Switzerland. He relates, namely, only the corporate tax rate in the Canton of Zurich. This is 21.2 percent higher than the Swiss average of a little over 17 percent. Even higher is the rate of tax for companies with 21.6 percent, however, in the Canton of Bern. So he is in the two large cantons of much higher than, for example, in train (14,4%) or in Basel (13%).

Where Switzerland would be, if the average or the Basel value would be used, Schanz say. From other countries you would have to use the best values, find them. The rank list would be, therefore, "similar to". In addition to the tax rates it is in addition to other conditions. "The embodiment of the so-called Patent Box – that is, the treatment of income from patents – and the tax treatment of costs of research and development plays an important role," says Schanz.

taxes are not all

Stefan Kuhn head of corporate tax and mergers (M&A) at consulting firm KPMG, agrees Schanz., "The taxes are still important, but less prominent than ten years ago," says Kuhn. "Switzerland must be able to offer in different areas of a good framework." Kuhn experienced in practice currently different developments: "There are companies that pull out of Switzerland, but also a shift of the functions in Switzerland."

And what changes the tax-AHV-template (STAF) on the Position of Switzerland in international tax competition? Stefan Kuhn emphasized how important it was, the abolish tax privileges: "Otherwise, the black list of the EU and migration threaten abroad." The introduction of the Patent Box and the deductions on research and development is positive. But it would be even more possible to find Kuhn. There are other countries that did it better. "In the tax rates, we are well on the way, but only if the cantons to make their announced cuts in the tax rates is true," says Kuhn.

Whether that happens is unclear, because on the one hand, in eleven of the cantons the influx of companies in the case of tax cuts, revenue losses and the social Democrats have almost announced anywhere resistance to tax cuts. The competition among the cantons will not lose weight, says Kuhn. "The Canton of Zurich will have its tax rate of between 18 and 19 percent of bad cards." His neighbors were up to 6 percent lower. "This is essential as companies consider where you build your headquarters."

at the same time, the template increases the taxation of Dividends, and makes parts of the last corporate tax reform to be undone. This will have no negative impact on the Position of Switzerland in international competition, says Kuhn. "The increase in the taxation of Dividends relates to more domestic companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises." The partial withdrawal of the capital investment principle is ugly, but that once taxed the deposits would not have to be a second Time taxed if they were distributed, remained on the table.

"relic from ancient times"

Not in the stamp duties affected and the withholding tax. The former considers Kuhn as a disadvantage. They were a "relic from ancient times" and would be bypassed by certain activities would not be carried out in Switzerland. Similarly, the withholding tax interactive: "companies need to raise capital in other places, in order to be attractive for investors."

Switzerland will not draw the international permissible leeway with the control-AVS template, Kuhn. The template was the result of a compromise. But you can make improvements. Deborah Schanz sees it similarly: "those Who stand still will fall behind in the Ranking."

(editing Tamedia)

Created: 22.04.2019, 18:41 PM

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