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10 March 2006
A revision of the Swiss Federal Stamp Duty Act was passed by both chambers of the Swiss Federal Parliament on March 18 2005. The modifications entered into force on January 1 2006.
The rate of the Swiss stamp duty on capital contributions remains unchanged at 1%. The amount of initial capital contributions to a Swiss corporation or cooperative which are exempt from the issuance stamp duty has been increased from Sfr250,000 to Sfr1 million. The exemption is not, and will not be, available for future capital contributions to existing corporations and cooperatives which had already received capital contributions of Sfr1 million or more before January 1 2006.
There are two main elements of interest. First, foreign resident corporations with shares listed on a recognized stock exchange and their foreign resident affiliates are exempt from the Swiss transfer stamp duty triggered on sales or purchases of taxable securities from a Swiss securities dealer or intermediated by a Swiss securities dealer. Second, dealings of a Swiss securities dealer in newly issued securities of Swiss and foreign issuers with foreign banks and stock exchange brokers are exempt from the half of the stamp duty to be borne by the foreign party to the transaction. Before January 1 2006, this exemption was limited to dealings in the securities of foreign issuers.
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