No swiss referendum on tax treaty with germany

no swiss referendum on tax treaty with germany

This was announced by the swiss federal chancellery in berne on tuesday after examining the signature lists of the initiators of the referendum.

According to their own statements, the opponents of the tax treaty were able to collect slightly more signatures. However, the auditors of the federal chancellery stated that the number required to schedule a referendum "has been missed by at least 1500 signatures".

Due to a lack of sufficient signatures, there will also be no referendums on the tax treaties between switzerland and the uk and austria. Unlike in germany, there is no major opposition in these states to the agreements on the retrospective taxation of their citizens’ assets in swiss banks.

According to the ideas of the conservative action for an independent and neutral switzerland (AUNS) and the swiss young socialists, all three tax treaties should be rejected in a referendum on 25 june. November will be rejected by the electorate. They oppose these tax treaties, which have already been ratified by the swiss parliament, for different reasons.

Regardless of this, the failure of the german-swiss tax treaty in its present form is widely regarded as certain: for it to come into force, it would also have to be approved by the german bundesrat. There, red-green-governed federal states are in the majority and have declared their intention to overturn the agreement.

In a statement, the swiss business association economiesuisse welcomed the fact that the required number of signatures for a referendum had not been obtained. "Switzerland stands behind the agreements with the three countries," the association said. They offer a fair and pragmatic solution to past problems with untaxed assets of foreign clients. "The ball is now in germany’s court."

SPD candidate for chancellor peer steinbruck reiterated his criticism of the federal government’s tax deal with switzerland on monday. He could not agree to the agreement in its current form, said steinbruck after his nomination by the party executive board as the SPD’s top candidate for the 2013 parliamentary elections.

The agreement, which has not yet been ratified, stipulates that german holders of accounts in switzerland pay between 21 and a maximum of 41 percent in arrears to the tax authorities. In return they may remain anonymous. As in germany, swiss financial institutions are to levy a tax of 26.4 percent (including the solidarity surcharge) on future income from german customers and pay it to the federal republic’s treasury.

The federal ministry of finance assumes that up to 280 billion euros of german capital is managed by swiss banks – about half of this comes from private investors. In the event of subsequent taxation within the framework of the tax agreement, the ministry expects revenues of around ten billion euros. But the SPD demands further concessions from switzerland. Among other things, germany must be allowed to take action against german tax fraudsters by purchasing internal swiss bank data even after the agreement has come into force.

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