Alexandre Andersonder @StefanWand
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Corporate Income Tax Reform VD in force on 1.1.2019

The Vaud Government (Conseil d’Etat) just communicated a very important update for all companies doing business in the canton of Vaud in the sense that the decision has been made that the cantonal corporate tax reform (CIT III VD) would already be implemented on January 1st, 2019.
This cantonal tax reform takes place in the more general context of the corporate income tax reform at federal level (one of the purpose of which is to abolish the special tax regimes, in particular the holding and the mixed cantonal regimes). At its level, the canton of Vaud had adopted measures consisting in particular in a corporate tax rate reduction to 13.79% (cantonal, communal and federal tax), that had been approved by a popular vote of 87% of the cantonal voters.
The entry into force of the cantonal reform was foreseen for January 1, 2019. It is however linked to the federal corporate income tax reform that is currently still in progress at federal level with an uncertain date of entry into force. As you are aware, the initial federal project (federal CIT III) was rejected by a popular vote in February 2017. This project was intending to abolish, as mentioned above, the special tax regimes, and to introduce specific tax measures (e.g. patent box, NID, etc.) to (partially) compensate the end of these tax regimes. It was also providing for financial compensation mechanisms between the Confederation and the cantons. After the popular refusal of the federal CIT III, a new draft law (PF 17) was issued and is currently in discussion at the federal level. As indicated, the legislative timetable of this federal project is not clearly defined yet. Its final content, as well as the date of its entry into force at federal level, are therefore, still uncertain.
In this context, the question was whether the Vaud Government would maintain the entry into force of the Vaud cantonal tax reform on January 1, 2019 or, whether due to the uncertainty at federal level, would recommend to the cantonal parliament to defer the cantonal reform.
This point has now been clarified while the Vaud Government announced today its program for the calendar years 2017 to 2022. The entry into force of the CIT III VD has now been confirmed for January 1, 2019, On this date, the effective ordinary corporate tax rate will be reduced to 13.79%.
This is obviously a very good news for all corporations doing business in the canton of Vaud, irrespective of their mode of taxation (ordinary or special tax regime). Companies with a special tax regime may now envision to waive their privileged tax regime in order to be taxed under the ordinary tax regime at an effective tax rate of 13.79%, as this option may appears to be preferable for them in the international context. If these companies rather elect to keep their privileged tax regime until the entry into force of the federal reform, the Vaud corporate tax reform gives them a clear view on their tax treatment in the near future and this independently of the discussions at federal level.
And of course, the entry into force of the Vaud corporate tax reform in 2019 represents a substantial incentive and improvement of the attractiveness for the canton of Vaud that will offer a competitive corporate tax rate and an improved legal security for corporations taxed in Vaud or who would choose to implement their activities there.
Needless to say, OBERSON ABELS SA would be pleased to discuss this with you or answer any question that you may have.

    OBERSON ABELS appoints new Counsels

    We are delighted to announce that Dominique Gay, Bénédicte Mariéthoz Comoli, Anne Tissot Benedetto and Alexandra Pillonel have been promoted to Counsel of our firm.

      Facing the challenges of tax competition

      On October 16, Xavier Oberson will take part to TaxCOOP 2017, side event of the Fifteenth Session of the Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters of the United Nations

      The panel he will take part of will provide an overview of the impact of tax competition and discuss developments with regard to the taxation of MNEs, SMEs and individuals, such as policies to attract capital or to offer tax strategies to MNEs or wealthy individuals. Panelists will address facts and evidence, of lack thereof, of a race to the bottom and its potential effects on countries.

      To watch live : www.taxcoop-conference.com

        Webinar on the draft revision of the Swiss Data Protection Act

        On September 15, 2017, the Swiss Government published a revised version of the Swiss Data Protection Act (the "Draft DPA"). The Draft DPA is available here (in French).

        On September 20, 2017, OBERSON ABELS organized a webinar to discuss the main features of the Draft DPA and the steps which are to be taken to ensure compliance with the new Swiss data protection rules.

        Please click on the following link to watch this webinar. The webinar is in French.
        OBERSON ABELS is also preparing a series of Legal Updates on specific aspects of the new Swiss data protection rules. The first Legal Update will be issued on Monday September 25, 2017. Please do not hesitate to send an email to news@obersonabels.com should you wish to be included on our mailing list.

          Legal Update : Three Swiss legal developments regarding commissions/retrocessions

          OBERSON ABELS has published a short note (Legal Update) which addresses three recent Swiss legal developments regarding commissions/retrocessions :

          1. Civil law : The Swiss Supreme Court has ruled that the statute of limitations applicable to the client's restitution claim is 10 years. This 10-year period starts running as of the day on which the retrocessions are received by the principal (typically a financial intermediary).

          2. Criminal law : The payment and receipt of commissions/retrocessions need to be carefully analyzed under the Swiss rules on the (active/passive) private bribery, which have been significantly expanded since July 2016.

          3. Corporate law : In November 2016, the Swiss Government proposed an overhaul of Swiss corporate law. The governmental proposal includes a new transparency requirement, whereby Swiss legal entities active in (i) mining, oil and gas extraction and (ii) primary forest logging, would be required to publish a report disclosing all payments made to non-Swiss governments in excess of CHF 100'000 (per accounting year).

          Please do not hesitate to send an email to news@obersonabels.com should you wish to obtain a copy of this Legal Update.

            Legal Update : Entry into force of the new Swiss Citizenship Act on January 2018

            OBERSON ABELS has published a short note (Legal Update) concerning the entry into force of the new Swiss Citizenship Act.

            The completely overhauled law on Swiss citizenship will enter into force on January 1, 2018. As a rule, conditions to get Swiss citizenship will become stricter.

            Those who contemplate filing an application should consider doing so before the end of 2017. Applications filed before this deadline will indeed be handled according to the current legal framework.

            Please do not hesitate to send us an email should you wish to obtain a copy of this Legal Update :

            Marie-Laure Voyame mvoyame@obersonabels.com Tél. +41 58 258 88 88
            Marie-Frédérique Lamy mlamy@obersonabels.com Tél. +41 58 258 88 88

              Seminar on new data protection rules

              On May 31 and June 1, 2017, OBERSON ABELS held a seminar on the new regulatory framework regarding data protection. Approximately 100 participants took part in this seminar.

              The European Union (EU) has significantly strengthened its data protection rules. The Swiss Government published recently a draft revised Swiss Data Protection Act, which aims at adjusting Swiss law to the new EU standards. The new (Swiss/EU) rules will have a significant impact on Swiss enterprises.

              The purpose of this seminar was to allow participants to understand the practical implications of the new rules, which will enter into force in 2018 (respectively 2019), but require preparatory work already in 2017. Mr Cyril Pierre-Beausse (www.claw.lu), a well-known expert on the EU data protection rules, also took part in this seminar.

              The key implications of this regulatory overhaul have also been discussed in an article published by Antoine Amiguet and Philipp Fischer in the leading Swiss newspaper Le Temps (article available only in French).

                Two partners of OBERSON ABELS appointed to chair Specialized Committees of the Geneva Bar Association

                On May 29, 2017, the Chairman of the Geneva Bar Association launched a project involving the creation of Specialized Committees.

                Each Specialized Committee will regroup the specialists in a given field of law. The purpose of this project is to allow participants to improve their know-how through exchanges of practical experiences and review of upcoming legislative changes. In addition, the collegial relationship among lawyers active in the same field of law is to be fostered. This is, also, in the interest of clients, as it aims at improving the efficient completion of client assignments.

                OBERSON ABELS is heavily involved in this project. Stefan Eberhard has been appointed to chair the Specialized Committee on corporate law. Philipp Fischer will chair the Specialized Committee on banking law.

                  OBERSON ABELS awarded for its excellent services in tax and commercial matters

                  OBERSON ABELS was designated as the best law firm in Switzerland in the field of tax law according to the survey recently published by Le Temps and Bilanz. OBERSON ABELS is also highly regarded for its leading services in commercial law, in particular in the fields of M&A, private equity & venture capital, corporate law and contract law, as well as compliance, banking and capital market.

                  We are delighted by this acknowledgement at our clients' service !

                    New Lausanne office of Oberson Abels

                    OBERSON ABELS is very pleased to announce that its Lausanne office has moved to Avenue de la Gare 12A on April 24, 2017

                    We are looking forward to seeing you in our brand new Lausanne office !