Switzerland: Asset Protection, Double Taxation Agreement and an Attractive Location for Residence

What does Switzerland Offer Businesses, Individuals and Families?

  • Located in the centre of Europe
  • Economic and political stability
  • A well respected jurisdiction with an excellent reputation
  • Most ‘innovative’ country in the world for nine consecutive years
  • Lengthy history of expertise in finance and business
  • Premier destination for international investment and asset protection
  • High regard for personal privacy and confidentiality
  • Very good living and working conditions
  • Hub for HNWIs and international families

Who does Switzerland Appeal to Internationally?

  • International Headquarter Companies for Groups
  • Substantial Trading Companies
  • Large domestic and overseas Banks with expertise in open international capital markets
  • Trusts and Private Trust Companies
  • Family Offices
  • Individuals seeking to redomicile within central Europe

A Favourable Tax Environment for Companies and Foreign Investors

  • Swiss corporate tax reforms introduction in January 2020: commercially active companies taxed at between 12% and 14%
  • No corporate tax on dividends received from participations and no capital gains for Holding Companies (in the correct circumstances)
  • No tax on dividend distributions to shareholders based in Switzerland and/or a country in the EU

Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs)

  • Switzerland has over 100 DTAs
  • Swiss companies benefit from the EU Parent-Subsidiary Directive, a tax exemption for cross-border dividends paid between related companies in the EU (Switzerland is not in the EU, but is in ‘Schengen’)

Use of a Swiss Company as Trustee

  • A Swiss company can act as Trustee of a Trust formed under the law of another jurisdiction
  • Trusts are not subject to taxation in Switzerland
  • The Settlor and Beneficiaries are not subject to taxation, as long as they are not resident in Switzerland
  • The Dixcart office in Switzerland has been providing Swiss Trustee services for many years, and is a member of the Swiss Association of Trust Companies (SATC), and registered with the Association Romande des Intermediaires Financiers (ARIF)

Moving to Switzerland

  • Working: a work permit enables any individual to become Swiss resident (must have a job or form a company and be employed by it)
  • Not working: straightforward for EU citizens over the age of 55

Lump Sum System of Taxation

  • Applicable on moving to Switzerland for the first time, or returning after a minimum ten year absence (no gainful employment in Switzerland, but can be employed in another country and can administer private assets in Switzerland)
  • Income and wealth taxes are based on the taxpayer's living expenses in Switzerland, NOT on worldwide income and assets
  • The amount of living expenses on which income tax is based, varies from canton to canton, and is usually negotiated with the relevant tax authorities (in Geneva, a minimum taxable income of CHF400,000 is required)

The Dixcart Office in Switzerland

If you require any further information or have any questions please contact the MD of our Swiss office:

christine.breitler@dixcart.com

Categories: Switzerland, 2019