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Switzerland: Real estate tax in Geneva, implications of tax reform

Switzerland: Real estate tax in Geneva, tax reform

The Swiss Canton of Geneva has a special feature concerning the taxation of real estate gains. In particular, a special tax on real estate gains applies to all taxpayers, regardless of their status and applies to all real estate transactions.

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Gains realized on dispositions of commercial property by corporations and certain other taxpayers are also subject to "ordinary” income tax in the canton. The special tax on real estate gains is deducted from the amount of ordinary income tax due, and any overpayment is refunded.

The Geneva cantonal measures for tax reform were approved by the voters of Geneva in May 2019, and with this referendum vote, the tax rate on profits will be reduced to 13.99% for legal entities (compared to the current rate of approximately 18.90%) effective 1 January 2020.


KPMG observation

The reduction in the tax rate may encourage investors to reconsider their acquisitions or dispositions of real estate and in particular as to how their real estate transactions are structured.

Read an August 2019 report (French) prepared by the KPMG member firm in Switzerland

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