Wegen internationalem Druck: Schweiz muss Steuern erhöhen

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Erneut muss die Schweiz auf internationalen Druck ihr Steuersystem anpassen. Sie verliere damit einen Wettbewerbsvorteil, so Finanzminister Ueli Maurer.

© Bereitgestellt von Blick Schweiz muss Steuern erhöhen

Nicht einmal zwei Jahre ist in der Schweiz ein neues Steuerregime für Unternehmen in Kraft. Es musste angepasst werden, weil international nicht mehr akzeptiert wurde, dass Konzerne in der Schweiz weniger Steuern zahlen. Die Reform war ein schwieriges Unterfangen – den ersten Anlauf, die Unternehmenssteuerreform III, versenkte gar das Volk.

Und nun steht der Schweiz schon die nächste Korrektur ins Haus – erneut auf internationalen Druck der Organisation für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (OECD). Diese drängt zum einen auf eine weltweite Angleichung der Gewinnsteuersätze. Mindestens 15 Prozent sollen international tätige Unternehmen zahlen, wenn sie mehr als 750 Millionen Euro Umsatz im Jahr machen.

Vielen Kantone müssen Steuern erhöhen

Die Schweiz, das machte Finanzminister Ueli Maurer (70) am Freitag nach seiner Rückkehr vom Treffen der G20-Finanzminister in Washington klar, sei damit einverstanden. Auch wenn das bedeutet, dass 18 Kantone ihre kantonalen Gewinnsteuern erhöhen müssen. Und die Schweiz damit einen Wettbewerbsvorteil, den sie bis jetzt hatte, verliert.

Wobei die Krux im Detail liegt: Laut Maurer ist denkbar, dass die Firmen trotz höherer Sätze weniger Steuern zahlen müssten – dies, weil noch immer unklar ist, auf welcher Basis die 15 Prozent erhoben werden sollen. Ende des Monats soll sich dieser Nebel lichten.

Gemäss Schätzungen des Bundes werden zwischen 200 und 300 Schweizer Firmen sowie rund 2000 bis 3000 ausländische Tochterfirmen von dieser Säule der Reform betroffen sein.

«Ein bürokratisches Ungeheuer»

Noch komplizierter – und viel weniger spruchreif – ist die zweite Säule der OECD-Reform. Diese fordert eine Sonderbesteuerung der etwa 100 grössten Unternehmen der Welt. Diese sollen künftig nicht nur dort Steuern zahlen, wo sie ihren Sitz haben, sondern auch dort, wo sie Umsatz erzielen.

«Es ist ein bürokratisches Ungeheuer, das wir noch nicht genau durchschauen», sagte Maurer. Doch auch hier sei man zuversichtlich, dass eine Umsetzung «möglich und verkraftbar» sei.

Sicher drei Schweizer Konzerne betroffen

In der Schweiz würde diese Änderung nur sehr wenige Konzerne betreffen. Maurer nannte die Pharma-Multis Novartis und Roche sowie den Nahrungsmittel-Konzern Nestlé. Je nach Ausgestaltung könnten noch ein, zwei Grossunternehmen dazukommen.

Unklar dürfte die Lage für Glencore in Baar ZG sein. Rohstoffabbau-Konzerne sind aus der Reform zwar ebenso ausgeschlossen worden wie Banken – inwieweit die Rohstoffhändler betroffen sind, ist noch nicht klar.

Bekommt Maurer mehr Geld?

Umgekehrt könnte die Schweiz auch profitieren: Denn Konzerne wie Apple, Amazon, Google und Microsoft müssten dann auch hierzulande Steuern abdrücken. Wie viel das in die Kassen spülen würde, ist völlig unklar.

Maurer geht davon aus, dass das Parlament sich 2023 über die Reform beugen wird. Bis dann muss Maurer eine Botschaft ausarbeiten. Kein Wunder, sagte er am Freitag: «Ich habe keine Zeit, meinen Rücktritt zu erklären».

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