Competition, harmonization and redistribution: Corporate taxes in Switzerland

Switzerland could be considered as a test case for international corporatetax policy coordination. It is a federation of 26 fiscally autonomous cantons that have been taxing corporate profits more or less independently for over a century. We document and discuss corporate taxation in Switzerland, with a focus on three aspects: (a) the evolving within-country geography of taxable profits and corporate tax rates, (b) the nature and historical emergence of formal tax-base harmonization, and (c) the functioning of fiscal equalization. Parallels are drawn and differences are discussed relative to ongoing efforts at international tax coordination.

with Marko Köthenbürger, Matthias Krapf, Raphaël Parchet, Kurt Schmidheiny and David Staubli. See manuscript