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21 February 2018

Initial Token Offerings (ITO) in Swiss Taxation: latest tax practice

The purpose of the extraordinary General Meeting of the Swiss Branch of the International Fiscal Association (IFA) on 8 February 2018 in Basel was to concretise the tax law provisions and to put up for discussion appropriate fundamentals for the tax treatment of ITO and to set the first courses for the Swiss tax practice.


In this Memorandum I have explained and analysed the considerations on the tax treatment of Initial Token Offerings (ITO) presented by representatives of Swiss tax administrations within a refined overall framework. ITO and Tokens demonstrate the tax challenges of the digital economy for the tax practice and the legislator.

  1. General Meeting of the IFA Swiss Branch on 8 February 2018
  2. Three levels: Issuer, Investors and Employees
  3. Legal analysis of the legal relationship as starting point
  4. Analyse of the tax risks of the issuer
  5. Tax treatment of ITO and Tokens 
    5.1 Participation Rights Token: Right to a proportion of the EBIT
    5.2 Participation Rights Token: Right to a proportion of the licence revenue
    5.3 Utility Token: Right to an activity of the issuer
  6. Tax Rulings
  7. Conclusion and outlook


Click on the button below to download this Memorandum as a pdf:

 Download Memo

For any questions, please contact our Practice Groups Disruptive Technologies and Tax. 


If you liked this article, you might also be interested in reading:

Practical Aspects of Initial Token Offerings (Part 2), by Dr. Catrina Luchsinger Gähwiler and Ronald Kogens

Practical Aspects of Initial Token Offerings (Part 1), by Dr. Catrina Luchsinger Gähwiler and Ronald Kogens

How Crypto-Tokens qualify under Swiss Law: a comprehensive Framework, by Ronald Kogens and Catrina Luchsinger Gähwiler

Starting an Initial Token Offering (ITO, also called Initial Coin Offering or ICO)- Things to consider, by Ronald Kogens

Blockchain for Patents - Patents for Blockchain a guestblog, by Dany Vogel, Swiss and European Patent Attorney at  Rentsch Partner AG

Spotlight on Copyright Issues of Blockchain Technology, a guestblog by Demian StauberAttorney at Law in the fields of Intellectual Property and ICT law at Rentsch Partner AG


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Topics: Tax  Technology  DLT (Blockchain) & Fintech 

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