Overview of the tax law decisions of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court published in the week from 27 March to 2 April 2017.
- Judgment of 7 March 2017 (2C_232/2017): Direct federal tax and cantonal and municipal taxes 2004 to 2006 and 2007 to 2011 (Geneva); the Federal Supreme Court dismissed the appeal lodged by A. (sole shareholder of B. AG) regarding deductions claimed in respect of B. AG; "obvious confidentiality" claimed and question of evidence (see E. 4).
- Judgment of 9 March 2017 (2C_1017/2015): Withholding tax for the period 2008 to 2011 (Geneva); A., British citizen, requested an adjustment of his withholding tax (with regard to the number of working days in Switzerland) in a request entitled "late" request for rectification; questions regarding refund within the meaning of Art. 138 para. 2 DBG and the corresponding provisions in the Law on Withholding Taxation of the Canton of Geneva; the Federal Supreme Court upheld the judgment of the Geneva Court of Justice of 13 October 2015 and dismissed the appeal; the lower instance was right not to take up the (belated) complaint (E. 2.2).
- Judgment of 20 March 2017 (2C_275/2017): Administrative assistance (DTA Switzerland - Austria); the Austrian Ministry of Finance requested the FTA to provide administrative assistance in respect of the , The Federal Administrative Court dismissed a complaint lodged against this request in its judgment of 16 February 2017 (A-6394/2016) (see our contribution of 12 March 2017); the Federal Court did not consider the complaint, as no legal question of fundamental importance arose (E. 2.4.1 and 2.4.2 regarding proof that the tax return had been submitted in due time).
- Judgment of 3 February 2017 (2C_364/2015, 2C_425/2015); official publication provided: Import duty on alcohol; classification of the products "Martini Rosso aromatised wine based drink" and "Martini Bianco aromatised wine based drink"; the two alcoholic beverages are subject to the Alcohol Law (AlkG) and are taxed at the regular rate of CHF 29 per litre of pure alcohol on import (Art. 23 of the Ordinance on Alcohol; AlkV); the exemption from taxation under the AlkG requested by the complainant was rejected; it was disputed whether the two beverages were aromatised wine-based drinks obtained exclusively by fermentation or distilled water; on the basis of the production process, the Federal Supreme Court concluded that the existing alcohol content was not exclusively due to fermentation but was half enriched by means of technical manipulation, which is why the two beverages contain distilled water in addition to other substances and the provisions of the Alcohol Act apply accordingly (E. 4.4.2); the proposal that a tax reduction of 50% for vermouth wine or other wine made from fresh grapes (Article 23bis para. 2 lit. c AlkG) should possibly be applied was also examined and rejected (E. 5); additional information from the Federal Supreme Court that the two beverages could be "alcopops", which means that they could be subject to a tax increased by 300%, which could not be examined in depth in the present case due to the lack of a corresponding request by the parties (E. 6; Art. 107 para. 1 of the Federal Supreme Court Act; the Federal Supreme Court may not go beyond the requests of the parties); the ruling of the Federal Administrative Court of 30 March 2015 (A-1083/2014) in the lower instance was overturned; see also the contribution of Fabian Klaber on swissblawg of 2 April 2017.
- Ruling of 6 March 2017 (2C_183/2017; 2C_185/2017): Direct federal tax and state and municipal taxes 2009 (St. Gallen); discretionary surcharge of CHF 142,000 after a deficit of around CHF 145,000 had arisen - taking into account private expenses and the development of assets - for the spouses A.A. and B.A. resident in St. Gallen had a deficit of around CHF 145,000; they claimed that the husband's father had given them a loan of CHF 270,000 in cash (without receipt) from the Principality of Liechtenstein; the fact that an amount of CHF 270,000, which does not bear interest and does not have to be repaid, is handed over in cash and without written form may also be regarded as highly unusual between parents and children (E. 3.4); this exceptional case may be considered to be one of the most unusual cases. 3.4); this unusualness must be borne by the taxpayer, who, however, did not provide the evidence - such as the "plausibility of the flow of funds" as considered by the lower court; the Federal Supreme Court dismissed A.A.'s appeals.
Decisions are listed chronologically by publication date.