Swiss Individual Shareholder Relief Rules Found Incompatible with the Swiss Federal Constitution

On 25 September 2009, the Federal Tribunal delivered important judgments concerning cantonal shareholder relief rules. It, inter alia, rejected the scheduler approach to federal and cantonal direct taxes; specific cantonal requirements, such as in regard to the domestic seat and minimum fair market value; as well as the cantonal shareholder relief rules for net worth tax purposes, based on the equal treatment principle in Arts. 8 and 127 of the Federal Constitution. This note discusses the judgments and their implications.