Switzerland: Agreement On CTR III

Last Updated: 15 July 2016
Article by Thomas Linder

Please find below the media release in German.

Die letzten Differenzen zur Unternehmenssteuerreform III sind beseitigt. Der Nationalrat hat am 14. Juni 2016 eingelenkt und die Beschlüsse des Ständerats übernommen. Umstritten war noch die zinsbereinigte Gewinnsteuer und der Kantonsanteil an der direkten Bundessteuer. Dieser beträgt nun 21,2 Prozent.

Die zusätzlichen Mittel sollen den Kantonen den finanziellen Spielraum zur Senkung der Unternehmensgewinnsteuern geben. Es handelt sich um eine der Massnahmen, mit welchen ausländische Unternehmen für den Verlust von Steuerprivilegien entschädigt werden sollen. Diese Privilegien muss die Schweiz unter Druck der EU und der OECD aufgeben.

Weitere Vergünstigungen sind beispielsweise die Patentbox zur privilegierten Besteuerung von Erträgen aus Immaterialgüterrechten oder die so genannte Inputförderung, dank der Forschungsaufwendungen über die tatsächlichen Kosten hinaus steuerlich abzugsfähig sind. Auch für die Aufdeckung stiller Reserven gelten günstige Bedingungen.

Holding- und Finanzierungsgesellschaften profitieren jedoch kaum von diesen Instrumenten. Der Nationalrat bestand daher auf der Einführung einer zinsbereinigten Gewinnsteuer: Unternehmen sollen einen fiktiven Zins auf "überschüssigem" Eigenkapital zum Abzug bringen können. Letzte Woche hatte der Ständerat der zinsbereinigten Gewinnsteuer aber nur zugestimmt, sofern der betreffende Kanton Dividenden auf Beteiligungen über 10 Prozent zu mindestens 60 Prozent besteuert. Bei allen Vorbehalten gegen das Vorgehen der kleinen Kammer hat der Nationalrat die Verknüpfung der beiden Anliegen mit 122 zu 64 Stimmen bei 4 Enthaltungen gutgeheissen.

Die Vorlage ist nun bereit für die Schlussabstimmung vom Freitag. An einer raschen Einigung war allen gelegen gewesen. Vor allem die Wirtschaft hatte auf ein rasches Ende der Unsicherheit über die steuerlichen Rahmenbedingungen gedrängt. Allerdings muss die Vorlage wohl noch eine Referendumsabstimmung überstehen.

Bekämpft wird die Vorlage von der SP. Finanzminister Ueli Maurer hingegen sprach von einem "ausgewogenen Paket". Die mittlere Unzufriedenheit sei überall etwa gleich gross. Mehr sei in der direkten Demokratie wohl nicht zu haben. Fällt die Vorlage durch, könnten viele der 24'000 betroffenen Unternehmen die Schweiz verlassen. Diese sind heute für rund die Hälfte der direkten Bundessteuer verantwortlich.

Eine Übersicht über die wichtigsten Entscheide: 

  • Steuerprivilegien für Firmen mit kantonalem Steuerstatus werden abgeschafft. Betroffen sind rund 24'000 Unternehmen, die rund die Hälfte zu den Gewinnsteuereinnahmen des Bundes beitragen.
  • Anteil Bundessteuer: Die Kantone erhalten künftig 21,2 Prozent der direkten Bundessteuer. Bisher betrug ihr Anteil 17 Prozent. Die Kantone bekommen damit finanziellen Spielraum für Steuersenkungen für Unternehmen.
  • Patentbox: Die Erträge aus Immaterialgüterrechten und vergleichbaren Rechten werden in den Kantonen nur teilweise besteuert. Die Ermässigung darf höchstens 90 Prozent betragen.
  • Inputförderung: Die Kantone können Unternehmen erlauben, mehr als die tatsächlichen Kosten für Forschung und Entwicklung zum Abzug zu bringen. Die Obergrenze liegt bei 150 Prozent.
  • Zinsbereinigte Gewinnsteuer: Die Kantone können Unternehmen erlauben, auf überschüssigem Eigenkapital einen fiktiven Zins abziehen.Dividendenbesteuerung: Nur jene Kantone dürfen die zinsbereinigte Gewinnsteuer einführen, die Dividenden aus Beteiligungen ab 10 Prozent zu mindestens 60 Prozent besteuern. Heute können die Kantone die Höhe der Besteuerung selber festlegen.
  • Stille Reserven: Bei Aufhebung des kantonalen Steuerstatus aufgedeckte stille Reserven werden während einer Übergangszeit gesondert besteuert. Auch zuziehende Unternehmen profitieren.
  • Begrenzung: Patentbox, Inputförderung und zinsbereinigte Gewinnsteuer dürfen zusammengenommen zu einer steuerlichen Ermässigung von höchstens 80 Prozent führen.
  • Kapitalsteuer: Die Kantone können bei der Kapitalsteuer auf Patenten und Beteiligungen Erleichterungen gewähren. Auch für Holdinggesellschaften kann die Kapitalsteuer ermässigt werden.
  • Ergänzungsbeitrag: Für die ressourcenschwächsten Kantone wird während einer Übergangszeit ein Betrag von 180 Millionen Franken pro Jahr zur Verfügung gestellt. Die Modalitäten des Ressourcenausgleichs werden an die neuen steuerlichen Rahmenbedingungen angepasst.
  • Tonnage Tax: Bei Schifffahrtsunternehmen soll nicht der Gewinn, sondern der Schiffsraum besteuert werden. Dieses Steuerprivileg haben die Räte jedoch aus der Unternehmenssteuerreform III herausgelöst und in einer gesonderten Vorlage untergebracht. Über diese wird später verhandelt.
  • Stempelsteuer: Ebenfalls gesondert behandelt wird die Abschaffung der Emissionsabgabe auf Eigenkapital. Dadurch soll die vom Referendum bedrohte Vorlage entlastet werden.
  • Die Kosten sind der Reform sind schwierig abzuschätzen. Einerseits beruhen die letzten Annahmen auf Grundlagen, die inzwischen drei Jahre alt sind. Andererseits sind verschiedene Massnahmen für die Kantone freiwillig. Als gesichert kann angenommen werden, dass die Unternehmenssteuerreform III den Bund weit über 1 Milliarde Franken pro Jahr kosten wird. Es handelt sich um eine statische Betrachtung. Zugrunde gelegt wird die Annahme, dass die betroffenen Unternehmen in der Schweiz bleiben.

Unternehmenssteuerreformgesetz III vom 17. Juni 2016

Quelle: Medienmitteilung

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