Switzerland Welcomes Removal From EU Tax Grey List

The Swiss Government has welcomed Switzerland’s removal from the EU’s list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions, and said that the country meets and implements international tax standards.

The EU’s list is separated into a “blacklist” and a “grey list.” The grey list contains jurisdictions cooperating with the EU to reform their tax policies. Switzerland is among a group of jurisdictions the EU said had implemented ahead of their deadlines all necessary reforms to comply with its tax good governance principles. Switzerland has therefore been removed from the grey list.

The Swiss Federal Council said that, as early as October 2014, Switzerland and the EU’s member states signed a mutual understanding on corporate taxation, which provided for the abolition of specified tax regimes by Switzerland. In return, the member states reaffirmed their intention to repeal any countermeasures taken once these regimes had been abolished.

In May this year, the Government won a referendum on its federal tax reform package, which will abolish tax regimes which are no longer compatible with international standards, as of January 1, 2020. To ensure that Switzerland remains an attractive business location, the Government will introduce measures such as new patent box regimes in the cantons, which it says are internationally accepted reliefs.

The Government said that the approval of this package means that Switzerland is honoring its commitments under the 2014 agreement.