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Q&A: All you ever wanted to know about the Swiss forfait - and now finally dare to ask

Posted by on 9 February 2016

This Q&A addresses the questions relevant to the Swiss regime of forfait or lump sum taxation.  Next to income and wealth tax it also covers inheritance tax, social security, immigration and purchase of real property.

Switzerland has, for decades, had the so
cFroriep-swiss-lump-sum-taxation.jpgalled forfait taxation regime, essentially allowing foreign nationals relocating to Switzerland to pay tax on their worldwide expenditures.

The forfait regime is often mentioned alongside the UK and Irish non dom-regimes. By comparison, the forfait regime, coupled with the remainder of the Swiss tax system, is more advantageous on many counts (legal certainty, inheritance tax among others). In particular as far as professional activity is concerned the regimes on the islands may be perceived as carrying the day.

Whereas the forfait regime was abolished in a number of cantons at local level, a popular vote was held at national level in November 2014 with 59.2% voters and all cantons being in favour. So, it is fair to say that the forfait is here to stay.

Since January 2016 the forfait legislation has been subject to somewhat increased thresholds. The main rules are unaltered, however.

This is to provide a Q&A overview of ...

  • income, wealth and inheritance tax (questions 2 to 9)
  • social security (question 10)
  • immigration (question 13)
  • and also property purchase (question 15) issues

... that matter to international private clients and their advisers.

  Download Q&A

Topics: Private Clients | Tax

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Michael Fischer

Michael joined our firm as an associate in 2003 and became a partner in 2012. Michael advises private clients on their domestic and international estate and tax planning, as well as on philanthropic projects and governance related questions. He acts on behalf of corporations, in particular family held companies, in domestic and cross-border tax matters. His practice also includes contentious matters before Swiss tax authorities and courts.

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