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Swiss Coalition Party Argues For End To Special Celebrity Tax Breaks

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

02 December 2005


The Swiss Social Democratic Party, one of the four parties in the coalition government, is taking a position against tax breaks for wealthy foreigners at a meeting of European centre-left parties in Brussels, Swissinfo has reported

According to the article, the party has stated that it wants to help coordinate a Europe-wide campaign against what it calls "increasing competition" among countries seeking to attract the rich and famous.

Switzerland has gained a reputation for attracting wealthy foreign celebrities and business persons with special tax deals offered by certain cantons. It is estimated that around 3,000 wealthy foreigners are currently benefiting from fiscal incentives.

Senior party official Matthias Manz told Swissinfo that he would use the Brussels meeting, which gets underway on Thursday, to build momentum for a concerted effort to eradicate special tax breaks for the wealthy.

"The problem is... that exaggerated tax competition is a danger for healthy public finances," Manz stated.

He added that:

"We see this going on both within Switzerland between the cantons as well as between European countries, and we want to focus attention on this problem.

"Our aim is to discuss this issue, see whether other [centre-left] parties share our concerns and come up with a common position which could be implemented within the EU and Switzerland."


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