Implementation of the recommendations of the World Forum
The draft bill follows the review report issued by the World Forum on the Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes of July 26, 2016. Despite the criticism formulated during the consultation process, the Federal Council decided to maintain the main points in order to avoid the risk for Switzerland to be placed by other states on a list of non-cooperative jurisdictions.
The draft bill basically provides that bearer shares will only be permitted if the company has listed equity securities or if bearer shares are issued in the form of intermediated securities. In addition, a breach of the obligation to report the beneficial owners or to keep the share register and the list of the beneficial owners will be punishable. Regarding the exchange of information, the draft bill contains provisions on the confidentiality of requests for administrative assistance and the capacity to be a party to and to sue parties who are the subject of requests for information.
The Swiss Parliament should discuss this proposal in spring 2019.Back