Code of Conduct Taxation 2021 Released
The Swiss Federal Tax Administration announced in late 2021 the release of a new Tax Code of Conduct addressed to those professionally involved in taxation, including tax administration officials, tax representatives and taxpayers.
Swiss tax law practice is characterized by respectful interaction between taxpayers, tax representatives and tax administrations. This respectful interaction encompasses an open and factual exchange between the parties.
The new code, drawn up by stakeholders in the field of taxation, replaces a prior version that had been adopted in 2003. The 2021 Code of Conduct is intended to facilitate the efficient application of legal provisions and to strengthen the long-established relationship of trust between taxpayers, tax representatives and tax administrations. The code is structured as a series of recommendations for employees of tax administrations and tax representatives or company representatives professionally engaged in the field of taxation. The greater the number of parties who commit themselves to its application, the more effective it will be.
The code specifically states that legal obligations take precedence over the Code of Conduct.
Generally, the code calls for all parties to respect each other, treat people and factual issues separately, refrain from excessive formalities in discussions and proceeding, maintain impartiality in judgment and action and ensure that a dialogue can be maintained. It also calls for transparency in the administrative practices of tax authorities and the use of digital tools for tax procedures. The expectations for participants’ conduct during advance tax ruling proceedings are also carefully described.