Saturday, 17 March 2012

Superrich pay paltry tax in Zurich

News that 97 'Super rich' individuals have left the Swiss canton after a favourable tax treatment for rich foreigners was revoked demonstrates that unfair tax competition is alive and well. The 97 are among 201 rich foreigners that only paid an agreed amount to to canton that was far from representative of their overall global wealth. How little these individuals pay is revealed by the fact, that the departure of the 97 only led to a Swiss Franc 12.2 million diminution of the tax take. This means that each of them paid just around Sfr 100,000 a year. We do not know the aggregate wealth of these persons but we would guess that even Warren Buffett would be even more embarrassed if he could get away with the tax rate these tax fugitives paid. While the canton of Zurich is the loser, there are plenty of other Swiss cantons who still operate a tax haven on a highly selective (and discriminatory) basis. One only has to wonder what purpose the WTO or the OECD serve if they cannot stop this blatant case unfair tax competition. No wonder the Super rich 0.01 per cent are laughing all the way to the bank.

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