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Swiss voters reject company tax overhaul

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Voters in Switzerland have shocked the political institution by rejecting a reform plan that may have introduced the nation’s company tax system consistent with worldwide norms.

The tax reforms, which had been broadly supported by the enterprise neighborhood, would have eliminated a set of particular low-tax privileges that had inspired many multinational firms to arrange store in Switzerland.

Consultants say the way forward for Switzerland’s tax system is now unclear. The vote outcome may create complications for companies that had been banking on their implementation, and deter firms who had been contemplating a transfer to the nation.

“They have no idea what [tax] measures will likely be out there… That’s not a really strong foundation for making funding choices,” Peter Uebelhart, head of tax at KPMG in Switzerland, mentioned in a video assertion.

Switzerland has come beneath intense stress from G20 and OECD nations in recent times to wash up its tax system. The nation runs the chance of being “blacklisted” by different nations if it does not change its tax system by 2019.

Many citizens rejected the tax reform bundle over fears it would cut back the quantity of income collected by the federal government, in line with Stefan Kuhn, head of company tax at KPMG in Switzerland. Which may have result in tax hikes on the center class.

The present tax system offers preferential remedy to some firms with massive overseas operations. Worldwide tax authorities say the foundations quantity to unfair company subsidies.

Martin Naville, head of the Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce, mentioned it is attainable that voters did not perceive the complexities of the reforms. The measures had been rejected by 59% of voters.

“I feel it is a very unhealthy day for Switzerland,” Naville mentioned. “Clearly, the uncertainty and the credibility within the Swiss [system] has taken an enormous hit.”

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Swiss authorities say they’ll transfer shortly to create a modified tax reform proposal. Naville mentioned he hopes new guidelines are devised throughout the subsequent few months.

“All stakeholders now need to take accountability to develop a suitable aggressive tax system, and to regain credibility relating to the famed political stability which gave Switzerland such an advantageous place,” he mentioned in a press release.

Naville hinted that potential tax reforms within the U.S. and U.Okay. may tempt Swiss-based firms to relocate, placing extra stress on Switzerland’s tax base.

CNNMoney (London) First printed February 13, 2017: 10:10 AM ET

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