A small tax revolution. That's what it's all about. Small only by the low media resonance that accompanies it, when in reality, it is a real paradigm shift on a global scale that has just occurred. Because yesterday, June 18, 2023, the Swiss people overwhelmingly voted in favor of the implementation of the OECD and G20 project on the taxation of large corporate groups. The yes won with 78.45% of the votes.
This reform, known as “Pillar 2”, provides for a minimum tax of 15% of corporate profits, while Switzerland still has several cantons applying zero or very low taxation. In practice, this will mean that in Switzerland, the profits of large groups with a consolidated annual turnover of at least €750 million will be taxed at a minimum rate of 15%. If a multinational is taxed in Switzerland at a rate lower than 15%, it will then have to pay an additional tax equivalent to the difference between the rate of 15% and the rate applied.
If we can welcome this progress, which will quickly find an echo in other jurisdictions and thus put a stop to harmful tax competition between countries, we regret the eminently dogmatic aspect of the measure. Indeed, Switzerland, like many other low-tax states (understand, lower than ours), are countries known for their good management, their fiscal and economic security, and their political and social stability. Even for the most deaf to economic theories, good faith requires us to admit that Switzerland, Luxembourg, Ireland and so on are far from being vile areas of lawlessness, where capitalism has mowed down all humanity and where the enslaved man works to enrich ever more diabolical multinationals. The image of Epinal does not resist sociological analysis,
However, the reason why these countries historically had a low tax rate is easily explained: they did not need more. By their size, their demography, and especially their political choices, these countries have less need to levy taxes, compared to France for which the tax has become a tool and a social shock absorber, and no longer an economic one.So let's not sulk our pleasure: like all revolutions before it, this major reform will lead to radical changes and precedes progress. One can nevertheless wonder whether, like the chocolate medals, this revolution is not also a consolation prize, as it hides other economic, social and fiscal realities. A chocolate revolution. It's not surprising that it finally started in Switzerland.