Our blog on tax law topics
Taxation of separated parents
Social changes brought about many different organisational forms of living together. In the 21st century, the marital community is only one of the many socially accepted and lived forms. From a tax perspective, however, it is interesting to note that only the marital community, in contrast to divorced parents or unmarried parents, is taxed as a community.
Property taxes and start-ups
In addition to income tax, Switzerland also levies a tax on the assets of taxpayers at the cantonal and communal level. Wealth tax is due on the value of all assets at the end of the tax period (reference date). The valuation of the individual assets on the reference date is therefore of great importance. What is possible without problems with bank accounts or cash is associated with a great deal of uncertainty and inaccuracy with many other assets.
Deductibility of disability-related costs
The deductibility of disability-related costs is an issue that affects only a fraction of taxpayers. Nevertheless, it is worth taking a closer look at the systematics of this deduction. Due to the rather sparse jurisprudence on this topic and the lump sums used in practice, there are some uncertainties, which we will examine in more detail below.
From crypto trader to securities trader?
Many Swiss people have already invested part of their assets in cryptocurrencies or are planning to invest part of their assets in cryptocurrencies. Trading regularly takes place on online platforms, as this asset class is usually not yet offered by conventional banks. At the time of preparing the tax return, the taxpayer will sooner or later face the question of whether they qualify the trading activities undertaken as simple private asset management (and thus tax-free) or as commercial trading in cryptocurrencies.
Lump-sum taxes in Switzerland
The term “lump sum taxation” is used to describe the special taxation regime applicable to foreign individuals resident in Switzerland different from the ordinary Swiss income- and wealth tax system.
OECD Tax Talk #18 - 4 March 2021
On 4 March 2021 the 18th OECD Tax Talk took place. The participants were Pascal Saint-Amans, David Bradbury, Stewart Brant, Sophie Chatel, Grace Perez-Navarro, Sarah Perret and Achim Pross. The agenda included an update on the general developments around the issue of taxation of the digital economy (BEPS 2.0).
Cryptocurrencies and Taxes - Update 2021
Bitcoin, the world's best-known and by far the most capitalized cryptocurrency (USD 760 billion as of the end of May), has temporarily lost almost half of its value since reaching a new all-time high of USD 65,000 in mid-April. However, Bitcoin's development shows that such short-term setbacks are not uncommon and that the value then recovers quickly. Fundamentally, this setback has not changed anything for Bitcoin. The belief and interest of retail investors in Bitcoin remains very high.
Credit for foreign withholding taxes
In December 2020, the Federal Supreme Court issued a landmark decision in the area of the crediting of non-reclaimable foreign withholding taxes for individuals.
Tax risk flat-rate expenses
On 20 October 2020 (2C_316/2020), the Federal Supreme Court (FSC) issued a decision regarding the tax treatment of lump-sum expenses in the non-regulatory area. For the first time, it was explained in detail when flat-rate expenses at the level of the company company constitute a business-related expense.
Luxury class business vehicles
Depending on the acquisition value, business vehicles are treated for tax purposes as either "normal class business vehicles" or "luxury class business vehicles". The following blog post shows the tax consequences of this distinction.
Employee shareholdings - a challenge
Issuing shares to employees (as a salary component) is a custom among companies and often an important part of the salary structure. By issuing employee share ownership plans, the company aims to encourage employees to perform well and to strengthen their commitment to the company.
Deduction of professional expenses in times of corona
The Covid-19 pandemic is causing, at least temporarily, profound social changes. From the point of view of tax law, the change in working behaviour is of particular importance. Thus, the "home office" has received a real boost. This article focuses on the effects of the "home office" on the deduction of professional expenses in the 2020 tax period, with particular attention to the cantons of Central Switzerland (LU, NW, OW, UR, SZ and ZG).
Deadlines for filing the 2020 tax return
Below you will find a brief overview of the regular deadlines in some Cantons for filing the 2020 tax return. The respective links will take you directly to the websites of the tax offices, where you can easily enter requests for an extension of the deadline in most cases.
Entitlement to treaty benefits (treaty clearance)
Profit distributions and non-cash benefits of a Swiss corporation are generally subject to a withholding tax at a rate of 35%. Provided that the relevant conditions are met however, a refund of the withholding tax is possible in international relations on the basis of a double taxation agreement (DTA ).
Premature cancellation of the fixed-rate mortgage
Mortgages are important financing elements when purchasing a home. There are different mortgage models. One of them is the fixed-rate mortgage with a fixed interest rate for a specific term. With the fixed-rate mortgage, the borrower can protect himself against rising interest rates, but cannot benefit from falling interest rates.
Safe haven interest rates for the year 2021
If loans from Swiss companies to their shareholders or other related parties (loan receivables) do not bear sufficient interest, this constitute a monetary benefit to the extent of the underpayment of interest. Such monetary benefit may be subject to Swiss withholding tax as well as corporate income taxes.
Taxable personal use (imputed rental value)
For many property owners, the tax treatment of taxable own use (better known as imputed rental value) is a troublesome matter and the subject of many public discussions and political initiatives. The present article does not deal with the subject in principle, but highlights special questions concerning the taxation of the imputed rental value, which oftentimes lead to disputes with the tax authorities.
Asset deal vs. share deal
In connection with the sale of companies to third parties, the fundamental question regularly arises as to how the transaction should be structured from a legal and also from a tax perspective. There are two basic concepts to choose from - the "asset" or the "share" deal. In the following, we briefly present the civil and tax law opportunities and challenges of these two variants.
Broker's commission for real estate gains tax
The new withholding tax regime in Switzerland
With the Federal Law on the revision of the withholding tax on earned income of 16 December 2016, the system of withholding taxes in Switzerland was comprehensively revised. The new provisions enter into force as of 1 January 2021.
OECD Tax Talk #17 - 12 October 2020
On 12 October 2020 the 17th OECD Tax Talk took place in virtual form. The participants were Pascal Saint-Amans, Grace Perez-Navarro, David Bradbury, Åsa Johansson, Achim Pross, Michelle Harding and Julien Jarrige.
Withholding tax when working from home
As a result of the corona crisis, the traditional working model with its strict separation of home and place of work has come under severe pressure and even the Federal Council is propagating the new form of work under the term "home office".
Focus issue "Implementation of the TRAF"
The Bucher Tax AG has written an article in the special issue of the Center for Swiss and International Tax Law [zsis)] on the implementation of the TRAF throughout Switzerland. The article is called "Overview of the implementation of the TRAF at federal and cantonal level".
OECD Tax Talk #16 - 22 July 2020
On 22 July 2020 the 16th OECD Tax Talk took place, again in the form of a video conference due to the ongoing corona crisis. Participants of the webinar were Pascal Saint-Amans, Grace Perrez-Navarro, Achim Pross, David Bradbury, Asa Johansson and Ben Dickinson.