Switzerland: Tax Newsletter – November 2017

Last Updated: 29 November 2017
Article by Roland Böhi, Danielle Wenger and Laura Oegerli

I. Country-by-Country Reporting

What is country-by-country reporting? In 2013, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development ("OECD") and the G20 initiated the "Project Base Erosion and Profit Shifting" ("BEPS"). Thereby, the OECD and the G20 addressed a central issue within the international community: combating tax optimisation by multinational corporations ("MNCs"). The BEPS action plan, which was published in 2015, provides for 15 measures of which multiple are aimed at improving transparency regarding taxation of MNCs. Measure number 13, for example, deals with the verification of transfer pricing documentation. To this end, MNCs are required to generate country-by-country reports and to provide these to the competent tax authorities (Country-by-Country-Reporting, ("CbCR")). These country-by-country reports are then subject to an automatic exchange of information. CbCR constitutes a global minimum standard to which all OECD- and G20-member states (including Switzerland) have committed themselves.

What information does a country-by-country report contain? A country-by-country report inter alia contains information on the worldwide breakdown of revenues and paid taxes of MNCs as well as information on the most significant economic activities of all constitutive entities of a MNC.

Who is required to generate a country-by-country report? MNCs with a consolidated annual turnover exceeding EUR 750m are required to generate a country-by-country report. Applied to Switzerland this means that MNCs with consolidated annual turnovers exceeding CHF 900m are required to generate country-by-country reports. The OECD expects that these thresholds cover 10-15% of the MNCs worldwide; around 200 MCNs will be subject to reporting obligations in Switzerland.

What happens with the country-by-country reports? The country-by-country report is generated by the group parent company of a MNC and is transmitted to the tax authority competent for the territory in which the group parent company is domiciled. If this domicile is in Switzerland, the MNC is required to provide the report to the Swiss Federal Tax Administration ("SFTA"). Within the framework of automatic information exchange, the SFTA will give access to these reports to the tax authorities of the partner countries and the tax authorities of the affected cantons.

Submission deadline: The MNCs are obliged to generate a country-by-country report for the first time for financial years beginning on 1 January 2018 or thereafter. The first regular exchange will commence in the year 2020. MNCs may voluntarily submit country-by-country reports for the fiscal year 2016 and 2017; these are submitted by the SFTA to the tax authorities of partner countries as of 2017.

Swiss legal foundations: The Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, which was adopted by the Swiss Federal Assembly on 18 December 2015, forms the basis for the automatic exchange of country-by-country reports of MNCs. The Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement on the Exchange of Country-by-Country Reports and the Federal Act on the International Automatic Exchange will enter into force on 1 December 2017. A list of partner countries with which Switzerland has concluded a CbCR-agreement is available on:

https://www.newsd.admin.ch/newsd/message/attachments/49945.pdf (the list includes the EU, USA and China). It is notable that the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement on the Exchange of Country-by-Country Reports between Switzerland and another country only becomes applicable once that other country also lists Switzerland as a partner country.

II. Automatic Exchange of Information on Financial Accounts Through Switzerland

In our tax newsletter of April 2017 we have informed on the spontaneous exchange of information of tax rulings. In contrast thereto, please find below important information on the automatic exchange of information of financial accounts:

What does automatic exchange of information mean? In July 2014, the OECD adopted a global standard for the automatic exchange of information for tax purposes ("AEOI") which is aimed at combatting global tax evasion. The AEOI provides for certain banks, collective investment instruments and insurers to collect their customer's data if the customers are subject to taxation in another country. The collected information concerns both natural and legal persons and includes the account number, tax identification number, name, address, date of birth, all sources of income and the account balance. Subsequently, this information is subject to automatic exchange of information with the partner countries.

How does the AEOI work? The abovementioned information is transmitted to the SFTA which then forwards it to the foreign tax authorities responsible for the customers. The AEOI is subject to the principles of speciality and reciprocity. Therefore, the exchanged data may only be used for tax purposes and the data is only forwarded to countries, which themselves transmit information to Switzerland.

Legal foundations: The legal foundations for the implementation of the AEI-standard were created by the adoption of the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, the MCAA and the Federal Act on the International Automatic Exchange for Tax Purposes. All of the above and the corresponding implementing regulation have entered into force on 1 January 2017.

Effect: Switzerland is collecting information on financial accounts since 1 January 2017, which will be subject to the AEOI as of 1 January 2018. Only few countries aside the EU member states participate in the AEOI beginning in 2017. However, 43 additional countries are envisaged to partake in the AEOI at the beginning of 2018.

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.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions