Taxation of Cryptocurrencies and other Tokens: Working Paper published by the Swiss Federal Tax Administration

On 27 August 2017, the SFTA has issued a working paper regarding the treatment of cryptocurrencies and other coins or tokens based on the blockchain technology from a Swiss income tax, withholding tax and stamp duty perspective. The working paper also provides guidelines regarding the net wealth taxes imposed on a cantonal and communal level.

After the SPA: Stumbling blocks under FATF – Loss of right to dividends if notifications are omitted, also in M&A transactions

In view of the draconian sanctions currently in force under company law (and possibly soon to come into force under criminal law), it is advisable for everyone to check carefully whether they trigger reporting obligations under company law when acquiring shares. On 20 March 2019, the Swiss National Council waved through the envisaged changes in criminal law; now it is the Council of States‘ turn.

Swiss tax consequences in connection with the sale of shares: Limitations of the principle of tax-free capital gains for individuals

The tax appeal court of the Canton of Zurich dealt in a recent decision with the taxation of capital gains in connection with the sale of shares by individuals and its possible treatment from a Swiss income tax perspective. In general, if individuals resident in Switzerland realize a gain from the sale of tangible assets it should not be subject to Swiss income taxes. However, a few important exceptions should be considered.

Blockchain: Report of the Swiss Federal Council

On 14 December 2018, the Federal Council presented the report of the "Blockchain / ICO" working group of the Federal Department of Finance to the public. The working group has examined the extent to which legal adjustments are to be made in Switzerland in the area of blockchain technology and distributed ledger technology (DLT).

Duty to report open positions – Implementation in the Canton of Zug and first experiences

On 1 July 2018, the duty for employers to report their open positions came into force. The obligation to report open positions implements the mass immigration initiative adopted by the Swiss electorate four years ago. The obligation to report open positions essentially obliges employers, firstly, to report vacancies to the competent regional job centre (RAV) if unemployment in the relevant occupation exceeds a threshold value.

Tax Reform 17 finalised

The Swiss Parliament has finalised the tax reform 17 in the final vote of September 28, 2018. The new tax law should be implemented at the beginning of the year 2020. The entering into force of the tax reform 17 is subject to a possible referendum and a popular vote.

Accelerated distribution of dividends

The Swiss Federal Tax Administration (SFTA) has recently cleared the way for the accelerated distribution of dividends from subsidiaries to the parent company and the shareholders of the parent company from a Swiss withholding tax perspective.