Western Switzerland remains one of the most attractive regions in the world, notably from a fiscal point of view. The tax system, contributions and taxes function according to a principle called “the three fiscal sovereignties”, meaning that they are levied by the confederation, the cantons and the communes. This prompts a healthy and loyal competition, also reflecting the federalist structure of the country.
In reality, the charges that burden persons and enterprises, and that depend on the type of tax, are moderate when compared to the rest of Europe (with an average rate of taxation of 24.10 % on companies’ income). Moreover, preferential statutes exist for companies that settle down or that are being set up in Western Switzerland. For example, companies that are active in industrial fields (and particularly new industrial activities) or certain high value-added activities can obtain tax exemption on their profits and capital. These exemptions – or sometimes tax relief – apply to communal and cantonal plans. As for holding, residence and mixed companies, the canton members of GateWest Switzerland grant them a special rate for capital tax of an unlimited duration in addition to income tax relief.
In a European comparison, value-added tax (VAT) in force in Switzerland is very low: 7.6 %.
In addition to these major advantages for enterprises, taxes on individuals are much more advantageous than in the neighbouring countries. Moreover, special taxation exists for foreigners who do not practise any lucrative activity.