In the European context, Switzerland offers low tax rates and an investor-friendly tax environment. Its ordinary corporate income tax rates are low compared to most other European countries.
As a rule, the Swiss confederation’s federal 7.8% corporate income tax charge generally accounts for less than 50% of an ordinarily taxed company’s total corporate income tax charge, while most cantonal and municipal corporate income tax accounts for more than 50% of an ordinarily taxed company.
As each of the 26 Swiss cantons (states) and each of their municipalities has the sovereign right to determine its own income tax rate, there is competition for low tax rates among the 26 cantons (and within each of them, between the municipalities).
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Christoph Niederer is a partner and head of tax at VISCHER in Zurich, and Fiona Gao is an associate with VISCHER’s China Desk
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