Swiss withholding tax - status quo, or is it?


On Sunday, 25 September 2022, the Swiss population rejected the withholding tax reform that sought to

  • abolish withholding tax on Swiss bond interest payments
  • partially abolish withholding tax on interest on bank accounts
  • abolish securities transfer tax on the trading of Swiss bonds

The intention of the reform was to promote the Swiss debt capital market. Though the rejection of the reform means no legislative change, the current environment is rapidly changing with rising interest rates around the globe. In our view, it is therefore time to remind market players of what they need to consider with regard to withholding tax when issuing or trading Swiss bonds. A particular focus is made in this blog on the relevance of withholding tax in derivative transactions with notional Swiss bonds.

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Posted on 6/10/2022 | 0 Comments

Swiss WHT Reclaims – A recent SFTA practice guidance on the statutory limitations provides clear guidance


The Swiss Federal Tax Administration (SFTA) released a practice guidance on 13 September 2022 covering the refund of Swiss withholding taxes (Swiss WHT) on dividends and the applicable statutory limitations. The publication of the standardized practice is highly welcomed, as it provides clarity on how the SFTA determines the statute of limitations in a refund process.

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Posted on 5/10/2022 | 0 Comments

Public Vote Confirmed Swiss VAT Rate Increase and Rejected the Reform of Withholding Tax – What’s ahead?!

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VAT rate changes in Switzerland are quite common, mainly to finance “governmental projects”. The last VAT rate change took place in 2018. Based on our past experiences, we would generally expect the Swiss Federal Tax Administration (“SFTA”) to set transition rules covering both the tax point and resulting invoicing, as well as reporting rules. The key aspects mentioned hereinafter (subject to final publication and confirmation) will have to be considered from VATable persons in Switzerland.

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Posted on 26/09/2022 | 0 Comments

European push to implement Pillar II

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On Friday 9 September 2022 the governments of Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands issued a joint statement confirming the intention to implement a global minimum tax (“Pillar II”). In essence, the statement mentions that even though EU-wide implementation of Pillar II is preferred (by means of an unanimously adopted EU Pillar II Directive), the countries will move forward with implementation even in the absence of an EU-wide agreement if such is not obtained over the coming weeks. The next ECOFIN meeting where Pillar II is on the agenda is scheduled for 4 October 2022.

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Posted on 12/09/2022 | 0 Comments

Operational tax risk at financial institutions – preventing tax falling through the risk management cracks


A financial institution is faced with a broad range of local and international operational tax matters. Topics such as VAT, stamp tax duty, transfer pricing, tax accounting or tax transparency, just to name a few, have unique mechanisms and specific interactions with operational processes.

A survey conducted during a recent Deloitte FS Tax webinar indicates that, within most financial institutions,

     (i)      tax subject matters are not under the oversight of a single person or
              department, and
     (ii)     tax risk is not consolidated into the overall risk management framework.

These results show that strong tax risk governance needs to be put in place to ensure that tax risk is not overlooked and such governance should embed a tax control framework.

Building a tax control framework requires the identification and evaluation of risks, notably by considering the following three jurisdictional touchpoints of (i) products, (ii) services and (iii) the client base.

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Posted on 7/09/2022 | 0 Comments

The global minimum tax roadmap: the fog begins to lift


In July 2021, the G7 and the G20 fuelled the OECD Inclusive Framework with the consensus on the introduction of a global minimum tax of 15%. The high pace of policy leads at the OECD continued well into 2022 with the GloBE Framework (Pillar I & II) published in October 2021, the GloBE Rules (Pillar II) in December 2021 and the extensive commentary providing further guidance (March 2022). While the initial momentum provided for ambitious implementation plans, different global crises and the complexity of the implementation work required have slightly stalled progress. However, recent developments have revitalised the domestic efforts to introduce GloBE Rules and various jurisdictions have published their plans recently – among others: Switzerland.

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Posted on 24/08/2022 | 0 Comments

Swiss pension distribution to Italian residents


New requirement for refund of Swiss withholding taxes

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Posted on 17/08/2022 | 0 Comments

New US Tax identification number requirements create unworkable situations for Qualified Intermediaries


The IRS has recently announced a number of changes related to identification requirements impacting Qualified Intermediaries (QIs). This blog is the first of a two-part series and describes how the current design of the Secure Access Account (SAA), and in particular the request to provide a US Tax identification number to validate the QI’s Responsible Officials identity, would impair the QIs’ capabilities to comply with their electronic reporting obligations through FIRE. The second part of this series, covering QI’s new due diligence challenges linked to their non-US account holders’ US Tax identification number requirement for 1446(a) and 1446(f) purposes, will follow in a separate blog.

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Posted on 13/07/2022 | 0 Comments

Social Security Update: Switzerland Remote Work / Cross border commuters COVID-19 “no-impact” position extended until 31 December 2022. Expansion to all European Economic Area countries and Switzerland

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Considering the impact COVID-19 is still having on travel and work arrangements and its consequences in terms of work patterns for cross-border commuters and assignees a-like, the social security authorities of all EEA countries and Switzerland have decided, in the framework of the Administrative Commission’s meeting of this week, to extend the “no-impact” position in view of determining the applicable social security legislation up until 31 December 2022.

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Posted on 16/06/2022 | 0 Comments

Join our Financial Services webinar relating to Operational Tax Risks on 22 June 2022 at 8.30 am CEST


We would like to invite you to our upcoming webinar on operational tax risk governance for the financial services industry on Wednesday 22 June 2022 at 08.30am.

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Posted on 9/06/2022 | 0 Comments