Switzerland: Tonnage tax regime approved by National Council

Draft legislation on tonnage tax approved by National Council

Draft legislation on tonnage tax approved by National Council

The National Council on 13 December 2022 approved (99 votes in favor, 85 against and 3 abstentions) draft legislation on the tonnage tax.

The tonnage tax regime would be intended to strengthen the Swiss shipping sector and would introduce an alternative and optional tax regime for the international shipping industry in a manner similar to regimes in other countries including Germany, France, Cyprus, and the United Kingdom.

The tonnage tax regime would replace income tax at the communal, cantonal and direct federal levels, and the taxable basis of a company would be determined based on net tonnage of ships (freight capacity).

Certain proposed amendments to the tonnage tax regime were not approved by the National Council: 

  • Proposed use of total turnover instead of net income to qualify income from accessory activities for the tonnage tax
  • Proposed change to the scope of activities/operations that can qualify for the tonnage tax from “construction and maintenance of offshore structures” to “provision of marine services to the offshore business”

Next steps

The draft legislation will now be considered by the Council of States, which is expected to happen in February 2023.

Read a January 2023 report prepared by the KPMG member firm in Switzerland


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