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Switzerland Lures French Businesses With Low Taxes

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

19 August 2013


Around one hundred French companies have elected to set up in Switzerland since the beginning of the year, reportedly with the aim of lowering their tax bills.

Director of the Franco-Swiss Chamber of Commerce and Industry Romain Duriez recently revealed that there are now 850 enterprises located in the Confederation, 25 percent or more of whose capital is owned by a parent company in France. This figure compares to 750 in 2011 and to 550 ten years ago, Duriez explained.

Alluding to the development as both "linear and progressive over time," Duriez emphasized that it is not simply big businesses that are deciding to make the move, but also small- and medium-sized companies, as well as commercial subsidiaries of a French company.

Furthermore, an increasing number of French firms are sending their top executives to work in Switzerland, thereby benefiting from significantly lower payroll charges. On monthly salaries of over CHF10,000 (USD10,782), social charges represent 32 percent in Switzerland, against 65 percent in France.

In addition, prized French executives will not then be subject to France's exceptional contribution imposed on top income earners. The special tax is currently levied at a rate of 3 percent on income exceeding EUR250,000 (USD333,484) and 4 percent on income in excess of EUR500,000.

TAGS: tax | investment | business | corporation tax | payroll | tax rates | France | Switzerland | individual income tax | business investment

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