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Government to push ahead with tax cuts

Tax breaks for married couples and families are included in the three-point plan


The government says it intends to push ahead with tax cuts for families and a change in the tax system for property owners. The measures, which must be approved by parliament, will lead to a drop in revenue of SFr1.4 billion ($800 million).

The finance ministry said the aim was to improve and simplify the tax system and to boost Switzerland's competitiveness for investors.

The three-point plan foresees tax breaks for married couples and families, including benefits for childcare, and measures to reduce the costs of health premiums.

The government is also planning changes for property owners. They would see tax deductions for houses and holiday homes reduced. But simultaneously, the proposed system foresees incentives for people to acquire property.

The proposal also includes measures to partially abolish turnover tax for investors at the Swiss Stock Exchange. Parliament has already approved such proposals as an emergency measure, but the government wants to turn them into law.

The finance ministry said it could sustain the loss in revenue because of the favourable financial situation, which includes a federal surplus of SFr4.5 billion ($2.7 billion) for the year 2000.

The government is also optimistic that the proposed tax breaks will not interfere with government plans to reduce the federal debt, which currently stand at SFr100 billion.

Initially, the finance minister, Kaspar Villiger, wanted to shelve the plans for tax cuts. He had warned parliament in November of possible financial difficulties in the years ahead.

swissinfo with agencies


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