Withholding tax: outcome much closer than with stamp tax

26.09.2022 | Urs Bieri, GFS Bern

With the “No” to the withholding tax, the SP has once again scored a success against business and the authorities at the ballot box. In contrast to the vote on stamp duty, however, the left did not succeed this time in making the issue loud and emotionally charged. The anti-corporate momentum of that time did not pick up to the same extent as then, and the proposal sailed towards the vote Sunday in the shadow of the two AHV proposals.

Against the backdrop of a lack of emotional discussion on the proposal, the actual fundamental conflict on this issue remains: To what extent must Switzerland’s attractiveness as a business location be promoted more strongly via tax issues. As the close vote shows, the answer to this question is not clear. While the Swiss are basically in favour of Switzerland as an attractive business location, recent votes show that the electorate is more sceptical about tax reduction proposals than in the past. This and the uncertainty caused by the sometimes differing figures, costs and effects put forward by the various players during the referendum campaign have meant that the race has been open longer than with stamp duty.

All in all, the very close outcome speaks more for a formation of opinion like that of the free trade agreement with Indonesia, which was narrowly adopted, than like that of the stamp duty proposal in spring 2022.

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Urs Bieri

Urs Bieri