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Switzerland Urged To Reform WHT System

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

27 January 2020


The advisory board tasked with reporting on the state of Switzerland's financial center has recommended that the country overhaul its withholding tax system to improve its capital market offering.

In its latest report to the Swiss Federal Council, the advisory board said that liberalization of the Swiss capital market is a priority. The board said that, compared to the size of its financial center, Switzerland's capital market is underdeveloped. In particular, the structure of withholding tax has led to large companies issuing most of their bonds abroad.

The board recommended that switching from the withholding tax system to a paying agent tax could considerably enhance Switzerland's appeal as a venue for such capital market transactions. In 2019, the Swiss Federal Council put forward proposals for changes to the withholding tax system, including a possible paying agent scheme.

The board also said that, in the medium term, reform of withholding tax on equity issues and reform of stamp duties could further improve the attractiveness of the financial center.

In January 2019, the advisory board recommended that reforms should be made to the withholding system as a matter of urgency.

TAGS: tax | withholding tax | stamp duty | Switzerland | tax reform

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