Business taxation dialogue with EU nearing completion

Bern, Press releases, 20.06.2014

During its meeting today, the Federal Council gave the go-ahead for the initialling of a mutual understanding between Switzerland and the EU on business taxation. On the EU side, the Economic and Financial Affairs Council approved this understanding today. The business taxation dialogue between Switzerland and the EU is thus nearing completion.

Since 2005, the business taxation controversy has been putting a strain on relations between Switzerland and the European Union (EU). Switzerland and the EU have now managed to reach a mutual understanding within the scope of the dialogue conducted since 2012. This understanding contains no state treaty obligations and is limited to the listing of principles and mutual intentions.

In the document, the Federal Council reaffirms its intention to propose abolishing certain tax regimes within the framework of the third series of corporate tax reforms, particularly the different treatment of domestic and foreign revenue (so-called "ring-fencing"). New tax measures should be in line with international standards. In return, the EU member states confirm their intention to lift corresponding countermeasures as soon as the regimes in question have been abolished.

The Federal Council has instructed the Federal Department of Finance (FDF) to prepare the initialling of the understanding together with the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). The Economic and Financial Affairs Council (Ecofin) also gave the agreement the go-ahead today.

The relevant parliamentary committees and the cantons will be informed about the latest status after the initialling. The Federal Council should decide on the signing of the understanding thereafter. Parallel to this, Switzerland will remain actively involved in efforts to develop international standards for company taxation within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Address for enquiries:

Mario Tuor, Head of Communications, State Secretariat for International Financial Matters SIF
Tel. +41 58 462 46 16,

FDFA Information
Tel. +41 31 322 31 53,


The Federal Council
Federal Department of Finance
Federal Department of Foreign Affairs