• Olivier Eichenberger, Director |

With parliamentary approval of Pillar Two, Switzerland takes a step further in implementing global minimum tax and is on track compared to the EU states.

Background

Switzerland is in the process of implementing the global minimum taxation (Pillar Two) agreed by the OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework by amending the constitution. See further information here.

Latest decision

On Friday, 16 December 2022, in the final vote, the Swiss parliament has approved the proposal of the Federal Council to amend the constitution, including temporary arrangements with basic parameters that empower the government to release the respective (temporary) implementing ordinances, expected as of January 2024. 

After the decision by the Council of States (for further  information see here), the National Council had to deal with the proposal in the December session. The political debate in the chamber mainly focused on the allocation of the expected tax revenues from the top-up tax to be introduced. Whereas the Council of States decided to follow the proposal of the government to have an allocation key of 25% to the Federation and 75% to the cantons, the National Council first decided to allocate 50% to the Federation. However, in the course of eliminating the differences, the National Council followed the 25%/75% allocation. Similarly, the National Council followed the provision that the cantons have to consider the municipalities appropriately in connection with their additional revenues (i.e. no fixed allocation). This provides flexibility for the cantons. 

With this parliamentary approval, Switzerland is on track to implement the global minimum taxation by 2024, which is in line with the OECD’s current plan and the very recent agreement between EU member states to implement Pillar Two through a directive (see for further information here). Accordingly, Switzerland’s intended implementation timeline matches the plans of important other countries. 

Next steps

The amendment of the constitution decided by the parliament will be subject to a public referendum in June 2023. If then confirmed, the Federal Council will go ahead and implement minimum taxation, likely as of 1 January 2024. Over the next months we should also get clarity whether – besides the national top-up tax – only the Income Inclusion Rule (IIR) should be introduced as of 2024 and the Undertaxed Profits Rule (UTPR) shall be deferred by one year as foreseen by many countries.  

Considering the timeline and progress so far, companies should continue to analyze how and to what extent minimum taxation affects them. 

We continue to follow Pillar Two developments in Switzerland closely and will share our take on implementation as it progresses.

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