From the magazine SZW-RSDA 2/2017 | S. 182-188 The following page is 182

Le traitement fiscal des sanctions financières

Until recently, the question of whether penalties of a criminal law nature were to be treated as deductibles expenses for tax purposes was fuelled with controversy. In a judgment delivered on 26 September 2016, planned for publication in the official collection of judgments, the Swiss Federal Court settled the matter in the negative. In essence, the Court held that penalties of a criminal (or quasi criminal) nature were not tax deductible while, on the other hand, a penalty merely aiming at reducing the profit may be deducted.

This being said, the federal draft bill on the fiscal treatment of financial penalties, presented by the Federal Council in November 2016, is to be welcomed. Indeed, in the present contribution, we argue that the principle of non-deductibility of criminal penalties, which may certainly be justified from a tax policy perspective, represents a negative tax expenditure pursuing a non-fiscal purpose requiring an express correcting legal basis. In substance, the draft…