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Negotiations over Swiss finalise Basel airport tax deal with France

A new tax regime would end years of wrangling over EuroAirport


Companies operating out of Basel-Mulhouse international airport will split tax payments between Switzerland and France, following the conclusion of a long-running dispute between the two countries.

Officials from both countries initialed a deal on Friday to mark the end of marathon negotiations that began in 2013. Swiss International Airlines cited the political wrangling as one of the reasons it stopped operating out of the airport in 2015.

EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg is located on French soil but has been operated as a joint public sector body with Switzerland since 1949.

France had objected to the amount of tax paid by non-aviation companies to Switzerland. The new proposed tax regime, that has yet to be rubber stamped in either country, will redistribute tax receipts.

Non-aviation companies in the Swiss area of the airport would in future pay Swiss value added and capital tax and income tax to France. But they will not be subject to local French taxes.

France and Switzerland will split taxes paid by the airport operator, while the French civil aviation authorities will be compensated by Switzerland for services they perform at the airport.

“The overall tax burden on businesses in the Swiss area under the new regime will remain similar to what it is currently,” said a Swiss government statementexternal link.

In total, about 6,000 people are employed by the airport, more than two-thirds of whom work for around 60 Swiss companies.

A row over labour issues between both countries at the airport’s Swiss customs sector was resolved in 2012.

“The binational agreement strengthens the legal and planning security of the site. It also provides the necessary requirements for EuroAirport to continue to develop in its highly competitive market,” the airport operator said in a statementexternal link.

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