Tax change chassed foreign millionaires from the home of Swiss banking

Foreign millionaires fled Zurich after tax change

Two years after scrapping special tax breaks, the region of Zurich has lost nearly half its foreign millionaires. Of the 201 foreign residents who benefited from the tax breaks which the canton scrapped in early 2009, 97 have decamped to more favourable tax regimes, the region’s tax services department said quoted by thelocal.

Those departures represent a loss of 12.2 million Swiss francs ($13 million) in tax revenues last year, however that figure is more
than recouped by the higher tax bills charged to the high-earners who decided to stay on.

Switzerland‘s flat rate tax system has attracted the wealthiest to claim residency in the country. Among them are celebrities such as musician Phil Collins and Formula 1 ex-champion Michael Schumacher. In a bid to counter increasing opposition to the tax system, the Swiss government has put forward proposals to make these wealthy foreigners pay more, although not too much so as to avoid causing them all to leave.