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Swiss Canton Ticino Waves Through Tax Amnesty

by Ulrika Lomas, Lowtax.net, Brussels
29 November, 2013

The Grand Council in the Swiss canton of Ticino has voted in favor of plans to introduce a temporary cantonal tax amnesty, to generate additional revenue with which to support individuals into work.

Put forward by the Liberal Party (FDP), Ticino League Party (Lega), the Christian Democratic People's Party (CVP), the Green Party, and the Swiss People's Party (SVP), the tax amnesty initiative was adopted by 51 votes to 15. The Social Democrats (SP) opposed the measure.

Under the proposal, a tax amnesty is to apply in Ticino in 2014 and 2015, and will enable taxpayers electing to regularize their hitherto unreported income to settle just 30 percent of the cantonal taxes due for the last ten years.

Furthermore, income from the tax amnesty will flow to a fund aimed at stimulating the cantonal labor market. Up to CHF20m (USD22m) in revenue will provide job seeker support, including training and work placements.

Defending the measure, Ticino's Finance Minister Laura Sadis (FDP) underscored that the tax amnesty is vital for the canton's public finances. Both the tax authorities and the economy will benefit from the tax amnesty in the long term, Sadis emphasized, while lamenting the limited scope of the provision. Although 70 percent of cantonal taxes will be waived, federal tax will still be due in full.


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