Tightening of Lex Koller? Turning point on 2 June 2014
The second chamber of the Swiss Parliament, the Council of States, decides on 2 June 2014 on two pending motions for a tightening of the Lex Koller. These motions request that the acquisition of commercial properties, the acquisition of shares in listed real-estate companies and the acquisition of shares in regularly traded real-estate funds shall again be subject to the Lex Koller.
In April, the Committee for Legal Affairs of the Council of States decided with a small margin to recommend to reject the motions. If the Council of States rejects the motions on 2 June, the tightening will be off the table. If the Council of States approves the motions, the Federal Council will have to prepare a bill within two years.
On 27 September 2013, a left-wing national councillor filed two motions requesting a tightening of Lex Koller, the federal law limiting the acquisition of non-commercial real estate in Switzerland by non-residents. The government proposed to approve the motions in a virtually unnoticed decision and the National Council, the first chamber of the Swiss Parliament, approved them without any debate on 13 December 2013…
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Swiss resident individuals selling shares in a corporation that are privately held will, instead of a tax-free capital gain, realise income from capital that is partially or fully taxed.
Distributions from a Swiss resident company are subject to a 35 per cent Swiss Withholding Tax (WHT).