Last September the parliament has decided on amendments of the
Federal Withholding Tax Act (FWTA; SR 642.21) which will come into
force on February 15, 2017. Withholding tax obligations within the
group can then also be fulfilled by mere notification when the
30-day reporting period (as of the due date of the dividend) has
already lapsed, provided that the other previously applicable
requirements for the notification procedure within the group are
fulfilled. Henceforth, in cases of late notification –
pro-vided that the other requirements are fulfilled –the FTA
may no longer charge default interests, but may only impose a fine
of no more than 500 CHF (according to Art. 46 FWTA). Consequently,
this forfeiture period which has strictly been applied by the FTA
until now, has become a time limit.
Paid default interests, which were imposed solely because of a
late notification, may be reclaimed by companies within one year of
the entry into force of the new articles. This retroactive effect
on circum-stances before the entry into force is excluded for tax-
and default interest claims, which are either already
statute-barred or which have been ruled on prior to January 1,
2011. The FTA has provided for a simplified procedure for the
repayment of the no longer owed default interests pursuant to the
new provisions (cf. Art. 70c FWTA) and has adopted provisions
regarding transitional constellations.
Accordingly, Swiss companies are still required to comply with
the 30-day notification period for divi-dends to domestic and
foreign parent companies. Further, Swiss companies must verify if
paid default interests or withholding taxes can be reclaimed from
the FTA. The deadline concerning this matter will expire on
February 15, 2018.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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