October 2023 / Switzerland

October 25 2023

Switzerland, tougher measures against abusive failures from 1 January 2025

Debtors must not be able to escape their financial obligations by abusing bankruptcy proceedings. At its meeting on 25 October 2023, the Federal Council put the necessary amendments to laws and ordinances into force with effect from 1 January 2025. This deadline gives the authorities sufficient time to adapt their internal procedures.

In March 2022, Parliament passed the Federal Act on Combating Bankruptcy Abuse. In future, it will be more difficult to settle debts at the expense of creditors. For example, bankruptcy enforcement will be initiated for public law claims according to the general rules. Debtors should no longer be able to abuse the bankruptcy procedure to evade their financial obligations, such as the payment of wages or debts, thereby harming others. It will also no longer be possible to use bankruptcy proceedings to compete unfairly with other companies.

The Federal Act on Combating Bankruptcy Abuse involves the amendment of several pieces of legislation, namely the Swiss Code of Obligations, the Federal Act on Debt Collection and Bankruptcy, the Criminal Code and the Federal Act on Direct Federal Taxation. The referendum deadline for the new provisions has expired unused.

These legislative changes require the adaptation of certain provisions of the Commercial Register Ordinance (Commercial Register Ordinance - ORC) and the VOSTRA computerised criminal records ordinance. Most of the opinions expressed in the consultation were positive, which is why the Executive had to make only minor adjustments. In particular, it was welcomed that the indicia for suspecting a null transfer of shares will be listed in the ORC. The clarifications concerning the listing of the waiver of a limited audit were also approved.

Originally, the Federal Council had proposed to introduce the new provisions on stricter measures in the fight against abusive bankruptcies already at the beginning of 2024. However, during the consultation process, the cantonal authorities wished for a delayed entry into force in order to give the authorities sufficient time to adapt their internal procedures and IT systems. For this reason, the Federal Council has put the new statutory and ordinance provisions into force with effect from 1 January 2025.

Source: Admin.ch

October 25 2023

Switzerland, consultation on the partial revision of the VAT Ordinance launched

At its meeting on 25 October 2023, the Federal Council initiated the consultation procedure on the partial revision of the VAT Ordinance (VVV). The revision includes, in particular, the implementing provisions from the partial revision of the VAT Act (VVG), various simplifications in the area of reporting according to the balance and flat rate method, and a strengthening of the obligation to use the electronic portal. The partial revision of the VAT Act approved by parliament in June implemented several motions in particular. The amendment of the law is followed by an adaptation of the VVG, for example in the area of the taxation of online platforms and the newly introduced annual statement. The Federal Council is taking the opportunity to update and clarify the OIVA on other points as well, e.g. by completely reworking the balance rate method and the flat rate method. The aim is to determine the tax liability more precisely and to simplify these methods in the context of VAT reporting, to the benefit of small and medium-sized enterprises. As an anti-fraud measure, the reporting procedure is henceforth also to be applied compulsorily to cash payments in excess of CHF 15,000 for taxable services between taxpayers. The project also provides the compulsory use of the electronic portal for requests and notifications submitted under the all voluntary methods of balance rates, flat rates, annual reporting and group taxation. The entry into force is planned for 1 January 2025. The introduction of the annual statement is also hoped for by that date, in view of which extensive IT adjustments are necessary. The consultation will end on 8 February 2024.   Source: Admin.ch 
October 30 2023

Switzerland, wage agreements concluded for 2023 in the agreed sectors – Actual and minimum wages increased on average by 2.5% and 1.9% respectively in 2023

The social partners signing Switzerland's main collective labour agreements (GLAs) agreed on an average nominal increase of 2.5% for actual wages and 1.9% for minimum wages for 2023. Actual wages increased by 0.4% individually and 2.1% collectively. These are the main findings of the survey on wage agreements in conventional sectors conducted by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO).

Source: Admin.ch