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Swiss Parliament Urged To Accept French IHT Deal

by Ulrika Lomas, Lowtax.net, Brussels
22 May, 2014

The Swiss Committee for Economic Affairs and Taxes of the National Council (CEAT-N) has warned that the proposed inheritance tax (IHT) agreement with France should not be returned to the Federal Council for renegotiation.

The committee voted by 18 votes to 7 against the Council of State's decision to reject the revised IHT agreement, arguing that it is simply not realistic to demand that the text be redrafted. France has made clear that it is not prepared to review the new agreement, it pointed out.

The revised IHT agreement allows France to tax heirs and beneficiaries of Swiss citizens residing in France under certain conditions. The text also permits the taxation of assets located in France belonging to a deceased person in Switzerland, including furniture, paintings, and, newly, gold bullion and jewelry.

The National Council will vote on the bill in the summer session. The lower house has already cautioned that Swiss citizens will be at risk of double taxation in the absence of a treaty.

In the same sitting, the CEAT-N committee agreed to redraft a proposal in a popular initiative submitted by the Christian Democratic People's Party (PDC), which calls for married couples to be placed on the same tax footing as cohabiting couples. The committee agreed that the personal income tax system must not be discriminatory, but said that new measures must not be open to interpretation, and that social insurance contributions should also be considered.

The National Council will consider the popular initiative and the parliamentary committee's counter proposal in the second half of this year.

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