A referendum on corporate tax reform did not receive (majority) approval by Swiss voters. The corporate tax reform would have repealed the cantonal tax regime, and replaced it with certain measures intended to enhance the attractiveness of Switzerland for businesses.
With this vote, the need that companies have for legal certainty and the pressure from the EU for repeal of the cantonal tax status will continue. The Swiss Federal Council and cantons are expected to focus on a new draft regime.
With the vote, “status companies” such as holding, domicile and mixed companies, as well as principal companies and finance branches will continue to benefit temporarily from lower taxation (in comparison to other corporations). Presumably as from 1 January 2018, information about tax rulings that concern “privileged companies” and foreign related entities will need to be exchanged on the international level if the rulings were granted as from 1 January 2010 and are still applicable as from 1 January 2018.
Some cantons have announced a reduction to their income and capital tax rates ahead of the referendum. Yet, for certain cantons, replacement measures would need to be considered if they are to retain certain important companies.
Read a February 2017 blog item posted by the KPMG member firm in Switzerland
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