Sven Giegold
Mitglied der Grünen/EFA-Fraktion im Europaparlament

Sprecher Europagruppe Grüne

Corporate Tax Reform/Bilaterals: Switzerland Hearing in the European Parliament

Next Monday, 1st October, the Special Committee on Financial Crimes, Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance (TAX3) is organising a hearing on Switzerland at the European Parliament. It comes at the right time for the ongoing bilateral negotiations between Switzerland and the EU. The hearing will take place on the suggestion of the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament and can be followed live on the Internet from 8.30 pm onwards.

 

Switzerland has lifted its banking secrecy, had to revoke the tax privileges for cantonal status companies (letterbox companies) under European pressure and participates in the international exchange of information. Since 1 June 2018, the beneficial owners of companies such as OG, KG, GmbH, AG and foundations must also, for the first time, be reported to a central register. In contrast to the EU register, however, the register is not open to the general public. In principle, the attitude of the Swiss government towards tax dumping has not changed. Together with the recently passed corporate tax reform, there are new tax-saving models such as a generous patent box. Financial and money laundering supervision also remains weak for lawyers, notaries and tax consultants. Numerous “free ports” offer circumvention possibilities for the automatic exchange of information of tax data. There is no instrument against fiscal subsidies such as EU state aid law. The hearing in the Tax Committee is intended to clarify how resilient Switzerland’s „white money strategy“ actually is. The ongoing negotiations to revise the Bilaterals between Switzerland and the EU should be used to make further progress against tax dumping and financial crime. Switzerland is currently on the EU‘s “grey” watch list of tax havens and could end up on the “blacklist” by the end of the year.

 

During the hearing, we have only a few minutes to ask questions. I am therefore looking forward to receiving concise information on possible questions that could be asked to the EU Commission and the experts present on taxes and money laundering: sven.giegold@ep.europa.eu

 

Streaming will be available on Monday 1 October from 20.30 hrs here: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/ep-live/de/schedule/?filterBy=committee&organ=TAX3

Yours sincerely

Sven Giegold