At its meeting on 22 February 2017, the Swiss Federal Council instructed the Federal Department of Finance (FDF) to draw up the key figures for a new draft of Corporate Tax Reform III (USR III) by mid-2017 at the latest.

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 the media release of 22 February 2017, the Federal Council has now instructed the FDF to submit key content criteria for a new bill and proposals for further action in the course of the second quarter of 2017.

In its press release, the Federal Council states that, following the rejection of USR III, opponents and supporters agree in principle that a new draft should be drawn up quickly. The objective remains to strengthen the competitiveness of the Swiss tax system and to secure the tax revenues of the Confederation, the cantons and the municipalities. In addition, the special tax rules on status companies are to be abolished, as Switzerland has already promised internationally (cf. Joint Statement of 14 October 2014 between Switzerland and the EU member states).

The basic parameters of the new draft are to be drawn up following discussions with the political parties and in cooperation with the cantons and with the involvement of the cities and municipalities. The umbrella organisations of the economy and the workforce will also be consulted.