The small Alpine state is a model country on several levels. Not only is it beautiful – the quality of life in Switzerland has been among the Top 5 in the world for years. It also has the image of being a very well-organized country with a low tax burden. Certainly in comparison with its neighbors and other European countries. However, the last decade has seen some changes, such as the end of the centuries-old banking secrecy BUT not for Swiss residents. This is often forgotten. The level of banking is still among the world’s best. But how is the tax situation today…? Is Switzerland a true tax haven?
Yes and no…
Compared to real tax havens like Dubai, Hong Kong, Panama… of course Switzerland is a fairly heavily taxed country. Obviously, places like Dubai also have other disadvantages. If you want to do business or live in a super-organized European country with a strong image, Switzerland is a good choice and the tax burden is a lot lower than in other European countries. But…
The tax system and tax benefits in Switzerland are diverse and not always widely known. In a country like Bulgaria, the tax system is very simple, there is just a flat tax rate of 10% for both companies and individuals. Simple and clear.
In Switzerland, a lot is regulated at the cantonal level, which of course in itself makes things very complicated. Furthermore, one can often negotiate attractive tax deals with the local tax administration. There are also differences between German-speaking and French-speaking Switzerland. So it is tailor-made, you can obtain access to an interesting tax system but you have to read the instructions for use damn well. So here we are, to help you.
To give just one more example, if a Swiss company pays a dividend there is basically 35% withholding tax. At first glance there is not a lot to be done about this, which makes a lot of tax structures not work. But believe me, it’s possible to get around this 35% in most cases perfectly legally….
Another example, it is said that it is difficult to get residency in Switzerland, even for EU citizens. Again, believe me, there are ‘smooth’ solutions to this.
For those clients who have a real business and for whom image is important, Switzerland is certainly a very attractive bride compared to all Western European countries. But you need to be guided very expertly in order not to get lost in the tangle of Swiss (tax) legislation.
So if you want to choose Switzerland, don’t hesitate and contact us today at: firstname.lastname@example.org.