Federal Supreme Court Rejects Swiss Withholding Tax Reclaims Made by an Italian Bank under Italy-Switzerland Tax Treaty

By decision dated 5 April 2017, the Federal Supreme Court essentially upheld a judgment rendered by the Federal Administrative Court (FAC) on 29 August 2016, rejecting Swiss withholding tax refund claims brought by an Italian bank regarding dividends received on Swiss listed shares for an amount of approximately CHF 10.7 million. Only in respect to a reclaim amount of CHF 11,600, the Supreme Court reversed the decision of the FAC and referred the matter back to the FAC for further review, as it found the consideration of the evidence made by the FAC regarding one particular share position to be arbitrary. In this report, we will however focus on the main claim of the Italian bank, which was rejected by both Swiss courts.