Switzerland: Safe Harbour Zinssätze 2016 Für Konzerndarlehen

Last Updated: 9 March 2016
Article by Samuel Ramp and Marija Ilic

Die richtige Höhe der Verzinsung von Darlehen zwischen einer Schweizer Gesellschaft und ihren Aktionären oder anderen nahestehenden Personen (z.B. Gruppengesellschaften) ist ein Dauerbrenner. Die Eidgenössische Steuerverwaltung (ESTV) publiziert deshalb jährlich Safe Harbour Zinssätze. Deren korrekte Anwendung schützt vor Überraschungen. Aber es muss noch mehr beachtet werden.

Jährliches ESTV Rundschreiben

Die Eidgenössische Steuerverwaltung unterscheidet bei Zinssätzen auf Darlehen unter Nahestehenden, ob die Schweizer Gesellschaft Gläubigerin oder Schuldnerin eines Darlehens ist und in welcher Währung das Darlehen ausgegeben wurde. Auch die Art der Sicherheit spielt für die Höhe des angemessenen Zinssatzes eine Rolle. Ist der Zinssatz für ein Darlehen zu hoch oder zu tief angesetzt, kann dies auf Stufe der Schweizer Gesellschaft zu Gewinnaufrechnungen führen. Überdies wird auch die Verrechnungssteuer zum Thema.

Darlehen in CHF von Schweizer Gesellschaften

Für eigenfinanzierte Darlehen in Schweizer Franken einer Schweizer Gesellschaft an ihre Aktionäre oder diesen nahestehende Personen verlangt die ESTV im Kalenderjahr 2016 einen Mindestzinssatz von 0.25%. Übersteigen die Fremdfinanzierungkosten der Schweizer Gesellschaft zuzüglich eines Zuschlags von 0.5% für Darlehen bis CHF 10 Mio. (bzw. eines Zuschlags von 0.25% für den CHF 10 Mio. übersteigenden Betrag) den vorerwähnten Mindestzinssatz, ist jeweils der höhere Zinssatz anzuwenden. Mit diesen Mindestverzinsungsvorschriften stellt die ESTV ein minimales Einkommen aus der Darlehensvergabe auf Stufe der Schweizer Gesellschaft sicher.

Darlehen in CHF an Schweizer Gesellschaften

Bei Darlehen an eine Schweizer Gesellschaft, welche ihr von nahestehenden Personen (Aktionär, Gruppengesellschaften) gewährt wurden, will die ESTV verhindern, dass der Gewinn der Schweizer Gesellschaft nicht durch zu hohe Zinszahlungen belastet wird und setzt deshalb Maximalzinssätze fest.

Betriebskredite bis CHF 1 Mio. an ein Schweizer Handels- oder Fabrikationsunternehmen in Schweizer Franken dürfen deshalb mit maximal 3% (bzw. ab CHF 1 Mio. 1 %) verzinst werden und solche an Holding- und Vermögensverwaltungsgesellschaften mit maximal 2.5 % (bzw. ab CHF 1 Mio. 0.75 %).

Wird ein Kredit an eine Schweizer Gesellschaft zusätzlich mit einer Liegenschaft besichert, beträgt der maximale Zinssatz, je nach Art der Liegenschaft und je nach Höhe der Hypothek im Verhältnis zu deren Verkehrswert, zwischen 1% bis 2.25%.

Darlehen in Fremdwährungen

Werden die Darlehen nicht in Schweizer Franken, sondern in einer Fremdwährung gewährt, sind grundsätzlich separate Zinssätze anzuwenden. Die ESTV publiziert diese in einem separaten Rundschreiben und differenziert – im Gegensatz zu Darlehen in Schweizer Franken – nicht, ob die Schweizer Gesellschaft Schuldnerin oder Gläubigerin des Darlehens ist. So beträgt der Zinssatz für Darlehen in Euro an die oder von der Schweizer Gesellschaft im Kalenderjahr 2016 einheitlich 1% (US-Dollar: 2.25%).

Liegt der Zinssatz für Fremdwährungsdarlehen von einer Schweizer Gesellschaft an Aktionäre/Nahestehende jedoch tiefer als jener für Frankendarlehen, ist mindestens der entsprechende Zinssatz für Schweizer Franken zu berücksichtigen.

Im umgekehrten Fall, also wenn der Schweizer Gesellschaft ein Darlehen gewährt wird und der Zinssatz für Fremdwährungsdarlehen tiefer als jener für Frankendarlehen liegt, kann der höhere für Frankendarlehen geltende Zinssatz als Maximalzinssatz angewendet werden.

Verdecktes Eigenkapital

Zahlt die Schweizer Gesellschaft für ihr von Nahestehenden (Aktionäre, Gruppengesellschaften) gewährte Darlehen Zinsen, ist neben der Höhe der Zinssätze weiter zu prüfen, ob die Schweizer Gesellschaft angemessen finanziert ist. Bei zu geringer Eigenfinanzierung qualifizieren die Steuerbehörden das von Nahestehenden zur Verfügung gestellte Fremdkapital für Steuerzwecke ganz oder teilweise in Eigenkapital der Schweizer Gesellschaft um. Dieses verdeckte Eigenkapital darf von der Schweizer Gesellschaft nicht verzinst werden. Zahlt die Schweizer Gesellschaft trotzdem Zinsen auf dem verdeckten Eigenkapital, qualifizieren diese steuerrechtlich als verdeckte Gewinnausschüttungen – auch wenn die oben erwähnten Zinssätze eingehalten worden sind – mit der Folge, dass diese Zinsen bei der Schweizer Gesellschaft zum steuerbaren Gewinn aufgerechnet werden und zudem der Verrechnungssteuer unterliegen.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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