An overview of the recent statements, written by ICTswitzerland, can be found here.

Political statements

5 August 2020 | VREG

Statement on the revision of the regulation on the return, take-back and disposal of electrical and electronic equipment (VREG)

13 March 2020 | BVG/LPP

Statement in response to the proposal by the Federal Council to reform occupational pensions (BVG/LPP) – “We need to find a sensible middle course that does not combine the 1st and 2nd pillars”

26 February 2020 | 16.438-n-Pa.Iv

Statement on parl. Initiative 16.438 “Appropriate remuneration and a stop to wage excesses at federal and quasi-federal companies”.

20 September 2019 | Message on Culture

Statement on the Message on the Promotion of Culture in the Years 2021-2024 (Message on Culture)

28 June 2019 | Blockchain DLT

Statement on Federal law to developments in distributed ledger technology

15 April 2019 | E-Voting

Statement on the transition of electronic voting into regular operation

26 March 2019 |International Taxation: Opinion on the OECD Consultation

ICTswitzerland supports the opinion of economiesuisse on the OECD consultation “Addressing the Tax Challenges of Digitalisation” of 6 March 2019.

You can find further information and opinions here:

14 September 2018 | Taxation of the Digital Economy

ICTswitzerland recognises the need for a debate on taxation in the digital age. However, it rejects quick fixes and unilateral special solutions at all costs. This is a complex issue with wide-reaching consequences. Therefore, there is a need for extensive international dialogue and a solution needs to be found at a multilateral level.

ICTswitzerland intends to contribute the following considerations to the discussion on the topic:

  • The tax debate does not only affect the IT sector. Special taxes should be rejected in the interests of the economy as a whole. The so-called “Internet giants” frequently come under criticism during debates about tax. The current challenges faced regarding tax are merely accentuated in this situation; they actually affect the economy as a whole – after all, from manufacturing, to pharmaceuticals and banking, all companies are digitalising their business models. The economy cannot be separated into “digital” and “non-digital” companies. Special taxes damage innovation across the entire economy.
  • Quick fixes and special solutions must be rejected. The issue is complicated and the consequences are too opaque and wide-ranging for experiments. We need a multi-lateral and carefully thought out approach within the framework of the work being carried out by the OECD and Post-BEPS. The “Digital Service Tax” interim solution proposed by the EU Commission, however, is completely outside of the current international tax system. It is levied on revenues (3%) and focuses on certain services and companies. This means double taxation and legal uncertainty is inevitable for companies. There is also uncertainty over who will ultimately have to cough up for the digital tax. Large companies will probably attempt to pass on the costs to their customers, while smaller firms in competitive markets will likely have to bear the additional costs themselves.
  • Changing from tax on profits to tax on revenues is a radical paradigm shift – and is not in Switzerland’s interests. While large, populous countries will benefit from such a change, small, export-focused countries such as Switzerland will suffer. Switzerland needs to join up with similar countries in order to represent their interests. Companies should continue to pay tax in the place where the added value is generated.
  • New approaches, such as “digital establishments” have to be examined in depth and rolled out on a global basis. Value creation processes have fundamentally changed as a result of digitalisation. The tax system has to be adapted to the realities of the 21st century. In this regard, the question of profit distribution and the definition of value-creating factors are key and have to be addressed as a priority. It is only then that approaches such as “virtual establishments” (significant digital presence in addition to a physical presence) can be examined in detail. New models have to be rolled out in a standardised way on a global basis so as to avoid the risk of double taxation.
  • Avoiding double taxation is essential for Switzerland. In terms of the new EU regulations, the impact on Swiss companies is significant: Can revenue taxes levied in the EU be deducted from taxable profits in Switzerland? How can double taxation otherwise be avoided? These challenges are being actively addressed by the federal administration and in cooperation with the industry.
  • In terms of value-added tax, Switzerland must make improvements when it comes to enforcement. In principle, Switzerland has a modern VAT regime. However, there are problems in implementing it, as many foreign companies are currently able to avoid their VAT obligations. It is not only Switzerland where this is a problem: at the end of 2017, the EU decided to introduce stricter requirements for online platforms to collect VAT and to make them liable in this respect. Switzerland must also be more consistent when it comes to implementing VAT obligations for foreign traders and service providers.
  • Digitalisation and the resulting growth cannot be stifled. Digitalisation is a key driver for economic growth. That is why discussions on taxation should promote, and in no way stifle, investment in new business models, new companies and international trade.

3 December 2018 | New working time models: smarter, not harder

ICTswitzerland, the umbrella organisation for the digital economy, is calling for a targeted modernisation of employment law. There is currently a wide gulf between contemporary working practices and the legislation governing them. In future, people must be able to work more flexibly, not for longer. In this respect, ICTswitzerland responded to the consultation period held by the Council of States Committee for Economic Affairs and Taxes with regard to making employment law somewhat more flexible.

10 July 2017 | Digital test by ICTswitzerland – excessive special legislation is harming the digital economy

ICTswitzerland, the umbrella organisation for the ICT industry, has put the regulatory framework conditions in Switzerland to a “digital test” at the request of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). In the concluding expert opinion to SECO, ICTswitzerland identified an urgent need for action in the areas of electronic ID, the framework conditions for handling of data, and the proposals for expanding digital infrastructure. The members of the ICT umbrella organisation see the greatest obstacles to the digital transformation in the numerous political demands for new rules and regulations and excessive special legislation.

29 May 2017 | E-ID

ICTswitzerland is calling for a rapid, nationwide introduction of a government-recognised electronic identity

As part of the recently concluded consultation on the e-ID law, ICTswitzerland is supporting the federal government’s objective of putting in place the legal and organisational framework conditions required for the introduction of a government-recognised electronic identity for private individuals. An electronic identity forms the basis for many digital applications, whether private or government-related, from online shopping through to e-banking and e-voting. If Switzerland does not want to miss the digitalisation boat, it is high time to quickly push forward with the Swiss e-ID.

All Swiss citizens should be able to identify themselves electronically on the Internet with the same degree of validity as a passport or ID card in the physical world. To achieve this overarching goal, the ICT sector believes that the following core strategic values are required when drafting a new e-ID law:

  • Nationwide introduction: All residents of Switzerland should have the opportunity to obtain a recognised and secure e-ID. Exclusion criteria, such as restricting it to Swiss citizens, higher costs for users or it being complicated to use, should be avoided wherever possible. To introduce an e-ID nationwide, interoperability between various solutions and services must be ensured.
  • Quick introduction: After many years of political debate, it is now finally necessary to have a clear legal framework, which will allow the e-ID to be introduced quickly.
  • Sensible mandatory applications for the e-ID: The government-recognised e-ID should be mandatory when dealing with authorities and be accepted on equal terms to an identity card or passport. In general, for all identification and authentication processes that require a passport and/or ID card, the e-ID must have equal recognition.

However, should the government be responsible for issuing the e-ID or should this be delegated to private companies? It is not only in our association that there are disputes over which concept for a Swiss e-ID would be the most successful. For this reason, ICTswitzerland has opted not to issue a response to the consultation and instead refers to the opinions issued by its members.

5 March 2017 |DSG

Opinion on the preliminary draft of the Federal Act on the Total Revision of the Data Protection Act (VE-DSG)

Further information and contact
Andreas W. Kaelin Deputy Managing Director digitalswitzerland