The Conference of Cantonal Finance Directors (FDK) welcomes the decision of the Swiss Federal Council, with the participation of the cantons and the municipalities, to rapidly draw up a new draft for Corporate Tax Reform III (USR III).

According to a press release of the FDK of February 24, 2017, the FDK held a first discussion in an extraordinary plenary meeting on the further procedure after the "No" to the USR III of February 12, 2017.

For the FDK, it is essential that not only companies but also the cantons have legal and planning security with regard to USR III as quickly as possible. The abolition of the cantonal tax regimes is inevitable. The new bill must also ensure the financial balance between the Confederation and the cantons and their municipalities. Particular attention will have to be paid to the financial yield of corporate taxes and it must also be ensured that the adjustments to the financial equalisation provided for in the current proposal take effect in good time.

The FDK also welcomes the reactivation of the steering body for USR III by the federal government and announces that it will again play an active role. The FDK nominates the following members:

  • Government Councillor Eva Herzog (Vice-President FDK and Head of the Department of Finance of the Canton of Basel-Stadt)
  • State Councillor Serge Dal Busco (Head of the Finance Department of the Canton of Geneva)
  • Heinz Tännler (Head of the Finance Directorate of the Canton of Zug)
  • Member of the Government Benedikt Würth (Head of the Department of Finance of the Canton of St. Gallen)

Background: The federal law on tax measures to strengthen the competitiveness of Switzerland as a business location (Corporate Tax Reform Act III) was rejected in the referendum of 12 February 2017 with 59.1% against (see our contribution of 12 February 2017). In accordance with a press release dated 22 February 2017, the Federal Council then instructed the Federal Department of Finance (FDF) to submit key content criteria for a new bill and proposals for further action in the course of the second quarter of 2017 (see our article of 22 February 2017).