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Swiss Alliance Launches Inheritance Tax Initiative

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

04 September 2012


The Swiss federation of trade unions (SGB) has recently urged individuals to support an inheritance tax initiative aimed at ensuring a fairer distribution of wealth in the Confederation.

Alluding to the fact that the richest 1% of the population in Switzerland will soon own as much as the other 99%, the federation argues that this unfair and unequal distribution of wealth is due to the fact that the majority of inheritances are currently not subject to taxation.

Since the 1990s, nearly all of the cantons in Switzerland abolished inheritance tax for direct descendants, the federation explains.

To address the issue, a broad alliance, comprising members of the Evangelical People’s Party (EVP), the Social Democrats (SP), the Green Party (Grünen) and the unions, have drawn up an inheritance tax initiative calling for a uniform tax of 20% to be imposed at federal level on all inheritances in excess of CHF2m (USD2.08m).

In accordance with the initiative, family homes and farms would remain exempt from the tax, and tax breaks would be accorded in the case of a bequest or gift of a company, to preserve the business and to prevent job losses.

According to SGB, such a tax imposed at national level would serve to generate in the region of around CHF3bn annually.

TAGS: individuals | inheritance tax | tax | investment | business | Switzerland | tax breaks

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