SwissHoldings notes with great concern the Federal Council’s decision to introduce the OECD minimum tax in 2024. The decision is not in the interests of Switzerland as a business location, nor does it reflect the spirit of the referendum of June 2023.
Today’s decision puts our Swiss business location at a major and unnecessary disadvantage compared to the numerous non-implementing countries such as the USA, China and India. However, the introduction of the OECD minimum tax in 2024 poses major challenges not only for our companies, but also for the Confederation and the cantons. Although the introduction in 2024 will lead to more tax revenue for the Confederation and the cantons in the short term, it will result in lower revenue in the medium and long term. Added to this is the great uncertainty in dealing with the constantly changing international structure of the OECD minimum taxation and the additional uncertainty as to whether this will be implemented globally at all.
It is important to note that we multinational companies supported the introduction of the OECD minimum tax. At the same time, we have always been committed to ensuring that the attractiveness of Switzerland as a business location can be maintained. When the referendum on the minimum tax was held in June 2023, the international framework conditions were such that it was in Switzerland’s economic interests to implement the minimum tax as early as possible in January 2024. However, following the referendum, some countries have changed the rules of the game at international level to such an extent that early implementing countries are now faced with considerable disadvantages for their business location.
Therefore, it remains clear to SwissHoldings and its companies that Switzerland must insist on having a level playing field with other countries. The introduction of the minimum tax remains correct, but in light of the new rules of the game, the Federal Council should have decided to postpone its introduction for another year. This would have made it possible to continue monitoring international developments and ensure that our location would not suffer any unnecessary disadvantages.
With today’s decision, SwissHoldings can only continue to appeal to the Federal Council to monitor international developments with great care. SwissHoldings also offers its support in the development of targeted new instruments to promote the attractiveness of our business location so that it is not unnecessarily weakened even further following today’s decision. Because one thing is clear: In addition to an attractive tax environment, other factors will become increasingly important in the future. Without suitable measures, we could quickly lose touch. Switzerland must therefore adapt quickly to the new challenges.
Martin Hess l Member of the Executive Committee SwissHoldings l firstname.lastname@example.org l +41 31 356 68 61