Illicit financial flows are conducive to social inequality and undermine sustainable development. Switzerland's centre-right political movements have long ignored this fact. Two new legal studies now reveal the need for comprehensive action.
Switzerland is not on the EU's new blacklist of tax havens around the world. Research by Oxfam International and the Tax Justice Network nonetheless shows that this speaks not in favour of Switzerland, but against the EU.
UN Independent Expert Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky has looked into the impacts of Switzerland's fiscal and financial market policies on human rights. His findings are noteworthy. The human rights expert is apprehensive about Tax Proposal 17.
The Swiss Government wants to extend automatic exchange of financial account information on potential tax dodgers selectively to some advanced developing countries. And to G20 members China and Russia. Stormy parliamentary debates lie ahead.
Corporate Tax Reform III was originally meant to eliminate the Swiss corporate tax haven. The notional interest deduction is now thwarting this intention entirely. It is also likely to harm developing countries.
The Apple tax avoidance scandal and the Federal Council's draft Law on Country-by-Country Reporting show that there is no way around publicly accessible corporate reporting by multinational corporations.
Country-by-Country Reporting for enterprises is very high on the OECD's agenda. This makes tax transparency an issue for corporate groups in Switzerland as well. Despite this, developing countries (still) have nothing to rejoice about.
In 2014, the Federal Council proposed a law on the treatment of dictators' stolen assets, or potentate funds. At last a good law was adopted in December 2015 despite resistance from right wing parties and some shortcomings.