Return on assets

One of the main problems of the Swiss tax system is the distinction between exempt capital gains and income from taxable assets.

Indeed, whoever realizes a capital gain on an asset coming from his private wealth does not pay income tax. On the other hand, a person who obtains a income from assets or who disposes of an asset belonging to his "commercial" assets, realizes taxable income.

If the distinction seems clear expressed in this way, the tax authorities, well assisted by the courts, have nevertheless tried everything (and with certain success) to reclassify a large number of transactions not as exempt capital gains, but as income from taxable assets. Examples include the "professional trader", who administers his assets in a quasi-professional manner (e.g. stock exchange transactions in large numbers, repeated purchase and sale of various goods such as real estate, wine, cars, etc.), indirect partial liquidation (sale of a company with undistributed reserves), (sale of a liquidated company), sale of shares in real estate companies, transposition (or "sale to oneself"), etc. In all these cases, the gain realized by the seller is recharacterized as an income from taxable assets.

As it stands, It is almost impossible for a non-specialist to be aware of all these cases, not to mention the fact that each case contains multiple subtleties that can be very complex. It is therefore essential to know how to surround yourself with specialists in the field who will draw your attention to the risks involved in a contemplated operation and who will guide you on the best way to proceed in order to avoid any unwanted taxation. Unfortunately, negotiating after the fact can be very difficult, which is why it is much easier to anticipate problems by consulting a specialist before they arise. Our extensive research and work on the subject allows us to be among the best specialists in these matters.

Your contacts

 

For French or English, please contact:

 

Daniel Spitz
Partner
E: [email protected]
T: +41 21 311 00 53

 

For German or English, please contact:

 

Pascal Sigrist
Partner

E: [email protected]
T: +41 43 488 5126

 

How can we help you?

Contact us by phone +41 43 488 5100 (Zurich) , +41 21 311 00 53 (Lausanne) or  +41  22 888 5050 (Geneva) or submit your questions, comments, or proposal requests.

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