Comparative Guides
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Results: 4 Answers
Corporate Tax
2.
Special regimes
2.1
What special regimes exist (eg, for fund entities, enterprise zones, free trade zones, investment in particular sectors such as oil and gas or other natural resources, shipping, insurance, securitisation, real estate or intellectual property)?
 
Switzerland
The current law provides for several special regimes – most importantly, the holding regime and the auxiliary regime. The holding regime offers a general income tax exemption (except for real estate) and reduced capital tax rates at the cantonal and communal levels. The auxiliary regime, which typically applies to trading companies, reduces the tax base of companies whose activities are mainly foreign oriented, which effectively brings down the applicable income tax rates to 8% to 12% on foreign-source income, and also offers reduced capital tax rates.

Under the current corporate tax reform, which was voted on by Parliament on 28 September 2018 and must now be validated by the people in a referendum on 19 May 2019, these special regimes would be repealed and new favourable measures would be implemented. Most importantly, the applicable income tax rates would be lowered. The new expected corporate income tax rates would range from 12% to 18%. Special deductions for research and development expenses would also be granted to Swiss companies and a new patent box would be created, offering Swiss corporations a reduced tax base for income from patents and similar rights (maximum relief of 90%). Some cantons may also offer a notional interest deduction on excess capital. If approved by the people, the corporate tax reform is expected to enter into force in 2020.

For more information about this answer please contact: Fouad G. Sayegh from Walder Wyss Ltd.
2.2
Is relief available for corporate reorganisations or intra-group transfers of companies and other assets? Please include details of any participation regime.
 
Switzerland
Tax-free reorganisations are possible to a large extent. The applicable conditions depend on the form of reorganisation. As a rule, the tax substance must be kept in Switzerland and the assets transferred must be kept at their relevant accounting value. However, some reorganisations do trigger tax consequences, particularly in cross-border situations.

For more information about this answer please contact: Fouad G. Sayegh from Walder Wyss Ltd.
2.3
Can a taxpayer elect for alternative taxation regimes (eg, different ways to calculate the taxable base, such as revenue-based versus profits based or cash basis versus accounts basis)?
 
Switzerland
Some companies, where eligible, can apply for any of the special regimes described in question 2.1.

For more information about this answer please contact: Fouad G. Sayegh from Walder Wyss Ltd.
2.4
What are the rules for taxing corporates with different functional or reporting currency from that of the jurisdiction in which they are resident?
 
Switzerland
Any gains or losses resulting from conversion of the statutory accounts from a foreign functional currency into Swiss francs cannot be included in the profit and loss accounts.

For more information about this answer please contact: Fouad G. Sayegh from Walder Wyss Ltd.
2.5
How are intangibles taxed?
 
Switzerland
Under current law, some cantons offer privileged tax treatment for income arising from the use of intangible property, such as intellectual property. As mentioned, the corporate tax reform would implement a new patent box regime (see question 2.1).

For more information about this answer please contact: Fouad G. Sayegh from Walder Wyss Ltd.
2.6
Are corporate-level deductions available for contributions to pensions?
 
Switzerland
Corporate employers shall pay mandatory contributions to pensions, which are tax deductible.

For more information about this answer please contact: Fouad G. Sayegh from Walder Wyss Ltd.
2.7
Are taxpayers from different sectors (eg, banking) subject to different or additional taxes or surtaxes?
 
Switzerland
All companies, irrespective of sector, are subject to the same tax treatment, according to the equality principle.

For more information about this answer please contact: Fouad G. Sayegh from Walder Wyss Ltd.
2.8
Are there other surtaxes (eg, solidarity surtax, education tax, corporate net wealth tax, remittance tax)?
 
Switzerland
Real estate taxes may apply to companies owning properties in Switzerland.

For more information about this answer please contact: Fouad G. Sayegh from Walder Wyss Ltd.
2.9
Are there any deemed deductions against corporate tax for equity?
 
Switzerland
Certain cantons grant a credit of corporate income tax against equity tax.

For more information about this answer please contact: Fouad G. Sayegh from Walder Wyss Ltd.