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Switzerland: Asset Protection, Double Taxation Agreement and an Attractive Location for Residence

What does Switzerland Offer Businesses, Individuals and Families?

  • Located in the centre of Europe
  • Economic and political stability
  • A well respected jurisdiction with an excellent reputation
  • Most ‘innovative’ country in the world for nine consecutive years
  • Lengthy history of expertise in finance and business
  • Premier destination for international investment and asset protection
  • High regard for personal privacy and confidentiality
  • Very good living and working conditions
  • Hub for HNWIs and international families

Who does Switzerland Appeal to Internationally?

  • International Headquarter Companies for Groups
  • Substantial Trading Companies
  • Large domestic and overseas Banks with expertise in open international capital markets
  • Trusts and Private Trust Companies
  • Family Offices
  • Individuals seeking to redomicile within central Europe

A Favourable Tax Environment for Companies and Foreign Investors

  • Swiss commercially active companies are taxed at between 12% and 14%
  • No corporate tax on dividends received from qualified participations and no capital gains
  • No tax on dividend distributions to shareholders based in Switzerland and/or a country in the EU

Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs)

  • Switzerland has over 100 DTAs
  • Swiss companies benefit from the EU Parent-Subsidiary Directive, a tax exemption for cross-border dividends paid between related companies in the EU (Switzerland is not in the EU, but is in ‘Schengen’)

Use of a Swiss Company as Trustee

  • A Swiss company can act as Trustee or take another role in your family Trust to manage and administer your Trust in Switzerland
  • Trusts are not subject to taxation in Switzerland
  • The Settlor and Beneficiaries are not subject to taxation, as long as they are not resident in Switzerland
  • The Dixcart office in Switzerland has been providing Swiss Trustee services for many years, and is a member of the Swiss Association of Trust Companies (SATC), and registered with the Association Romande des Intermediaires Financiers (ARIF) and regulated by The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA)

Moving to Switzerland

  • Working: a work permit enables any individual to become Swiss resident (must have a job or form a company and be employed by it)
  • Not working: straightforward for EU citizens over the age of 55

Lump Sum System of Taxation

  • Applicable on moving to Switzerland for the first time, or returning after a minimum ten year absence (no gainful employment in Switzerland, but can be employed in another country and can administer private assets in Switzerland)
  • Income and wealth taxes are based on the taxpayer’s living expenses in Switzerland, NOT on worldwide income and assets
  • The amount of living expenses on which income tax is based, varies from canton to canton, and is usually negotiated with the relevant tax authorities (in Geneva, a minimum taxable income of CHF400,000 is required)

The Dixcart Office in Switzerland

If you require any further information or have any questions, please contact the Managing Director of our Swiss office, Christine Bretiler:

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