SWITZERLAND: Jurisdiction should do more on tax avoidance, says EU parliamentarian.

As published on swissinfo.ch, Saturday 5 November, 2022.

In an interviewExternal link in the French-language paper Le Temps, Paul Tang, who led a delegation of European parliamentarians visiting Bern last week, said that Switzerland had made more progress than the European Union when it came to bringing tax rates for multinational companies in line with other countries.

Last year, Switzerland joined more than 130 countries in agreeing to a minimum corporate tax rate of 15% under an initiative by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. The Swiss public is expected to vote on the respective new tax in 2023.

“The support of Switzerland, where so many multinationals are located, is important,” said Tang.

However, he said that Switzerland struggled to rid itself of the reputation as a tax haven. “To get rid of this reputation, a country must show that the money flows coming from people who want to avoid paying taxes no longer passes through it. We need quantified results which Switzerland has not been able to produce,” said Tang.

The Dutch parliamentarian also criticised the country for the ease with which actual owners of financial vehicles can hide their identity and the lack of due diligence on lawyers. He suggested that Swiss parliamentarians, who continue to practice law on the side of their duties as elected officials, should abstain from any vote concerning the legal profession because of a potential conflict of interest.