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Swiss-EU Savings Tax Receipts Drop

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels
Friday, July 14, 2017

The amount of tax withheld by Switzerland on behalf of EU member states under the Savings Tax Directive fell to CHF74.8m (USD77.5m) in 2016, in what is the Directive's final year of operation.

In compliance with the agreement on the taxation of savings, a withholding tax rate of 35 percent is applied on interest income from Swiss deposits. The system has been in force since July 2005, and a lower rate of 20 percent was applied between July 2008 and July 2011.

The payment deadline for the EU tax withheld in 2016 expired on March 31, 2017.

Seventy-five percent of the revenue generated by the tax is passed to the EU member states concerned. The remaining 25 percent goes to the Swiss Confederation, which then distributes 10 percent of this sum to the cantons.

For the 2016 year, CHF56.1m will be transferred to EU member states. Switzerland's share amounts to CHF18.7m.

The agreement also allows the recipients of interest payments to choose between the system of tax retention and a voluntary declaration to the authorities. In 2016, approximately 350,000 declarations were received.

On January 1, 2017, a protocol to the savings agreement entered into force. It provides for the automatic exchange of account information, including the name, address, tax identification number, date of birth, and a broad amount of financial and account balance information. It replaces the system of tax retention and declarations.

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