Overview of tax law decisions of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court published between July 3 - 9, 2023:

  • Judgment of June 9, 2023 (9C_82/2023): State and municipal taxes 2012-2015 (Zurich), post-tax and criminal proceedings; in the absence of an existing power of representation, which was not submitted in due time despite a grace period, the VGer ZH assumed the non-existence of the alleged representative relationship and rightly did not accede to the request for judicial assessment. Dismissal of the taxpayer's appeal, with 3/5 of the costs of the federal court proceedings being imposed on the legal representative personally.
  • Judgment of 9 June 2023 (9C_697/2022): State and municipal taxes and direct federal tax 2014 (Appenzell Ausserrhoden); protection of legitimate expectations and binding effect of tax rulings; pecuniary benefit; In the present case, the respondent cannot rely on information provided by the Cantonal Tax Administration, as this was incorrect. The transaction described in the Ruling obviously bore all the characteristics of a pecuniary benefit. Since the Ruling is not binding, it must be examined how the pecuniary benefit is to be assessed and to what extent it is subject to income tax at the level of the respondent. The assessment at the level of the shareholder does not necessarily follow the assessment of the hidden profit distribution at the level of the company. Remittal of the proceedings to the lower court for the purpose of supplementing the facts of the case and for examining the question (disputed in the doctrine) whether the distribution of shareholdings in operating companies must remain tax-neutral as a demerger.
  • Judgment of June 13, 2023 (9C_609/2022) - intended for publication: MWST 2012-2015; the purpose of the taxable AG is to provide teaching, research and service infrastructures, in particular for university musculoskeletal medicine. It had Campus A (research center; opened in 2015) built on a building lease parcel owned by the Canton of Zurich. The Canton of Zurich contributed CHF 9 million to the construction costs of CHF 64 million. What was disputed before the Federal Supreme Court and had to be examined was whether this investment contribution was a contribution under public law with an effect on input tax (input tax reduction) or a donation with no effect on input tax. The main question was whether there was a mere "intention to benefit" with the right to dispose of the funds as one sees fit (donation) or whether there was an additional intention to support with a clear purpose (public law contribution). The Federal Supreme Court came to the conclusion that the investment contribution of the Canton of Zurich was a contribution under public law, because the Canton of Zurich thereby aimed to promote research and development in musculoskeletal medicine and the location of Zurich, which is in the public interest, and the contribution was granted with regard to a clearly defined construction project. The contribution paid out was therefore not at the taxpayer's free disposal as it saw fit. Dismissal of the taxpayer's appeal.


Decisions are listed chronologically by publication date.