20.05.2019 – Internationally competitive corporate taxation and reliable retirement provision are two important foundations for Switzerland's prosperity. Corporate tax reform is necessary, as certain tax privileges no longer comply with international requirements. The AHV, in turn, is increasingly experiencing financial difficulties because of the growing number of people receiving an AHV pension.
Against this backdrop, Parliament passed the Federal Act on Tax Reform and AHV Financing on 28 September 2018. The aim of the proposal is to create an internationally compliant, competitive tax system for companies and to help secure AHV pensions.
Tax privileges for companies that operate predominantly internationally will be abolished. The same taxation rules will apply to all companies in future. In order for Switzerland to remain an attractive business location, investments in research and development will be promoted with new special tax arrangements in future. Moreover, the Confederation will give the cantons additional funds from direct federal tax in order to reduce their profit taxes if necessary. The cantons will implement the reform autonomously according to their needs and compensate the cities and communes for any reduction in tax receipts. The tax reform will safeguard jobs and tax receipts in the medium and longer term.
The proposal will provide the AHV with more than CHF 2 billion in additional receipts p.a., and thereby make an important contribution to safeguarding pensions. The AHV's funding requirements will be significantly reduced. However, the planned structural reform of the AHV (AHV 21) remains inevitable, even if the proposal is adopted.
For the Federal Council and Parliament, reforming corporate taxation while at the same time financially strengthening the AHV is a balanced compromise from which the entire population will benefit. A referendum was successfully called against the Federal Act on Tax Reform and AHV Financing.
In the referendum of 19 May 2019, Swiss voters adopted the Federal Act on Tax Reform and AHV Financing (TRAF), with 66,4 votes in favour and 33,6% against. Voter turnout was 42,7%.