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Swiss Federal Council calls for turnover tax exemption of static trust companies

Swiss Federal Council calls for turnover tax exemption of static trust companies

According to the decision adopted by the Swiss Federal Council on 15 February 2017, Italian static trust companies (Fiduciarie statiche) should be exempted from turnover tax. If the Parliament approves the Council’s proposal, Swiss banks managing Italian assets will no longer be disadvantaged by multiple turnover tax levies. This would strengthen the competitiveness of Swiss banks, in particular in the Canton of Ticino.

The proposed amendment to the law would exempt intermediaries between customers abroad and their Swiss banks from the turnover tax in future. The organizations covered by the amendment may only support their clients in terms of tax and reporting obligations in their country of residence and may not provide any other asset management services. In addition, they should be subject to the statutory authorization or control requirement. From today’s perspective, only the Italian static trust companies will fall under this provision. Securities transactions carried out by Italian customers with bank deposits in Switzerland, with a Fiduciaria statica as an intermediary, have so far repeatedly been subject to turnover tax. Thus the proposed tax exemption would eliminate a competitive disadvantage for Swiss banks.

Due to the new tax exemption, the Swiss federal government is generating a reduction of around CHF 10 million in the return tax revenues. However, the improved competitiveness of Swiss banks is likely to lead to an expansion of asset management activities for Italian clients. For this reason, it is expected that these short-term incomes will be compensated in the medium to long term.