Depending on the legal form of a company, various types of taxation and various tax rates are used. In general the following principle applies:
Owners (natural persons) of single-person companies (individual companies, limited and collective partnerships) are taxed on behalf of these companies as the companies themselves, do not represent a subject for tax imposition. Income tax and capital income tax are the two most important types of tax for natural persons. They are levied annually. The amount is calculated on the basis of progressive tariffs. In addition, earnings from business operations are subject to social security contributions.
Juridical persons / corporate bodies (limited companies, limited liability companies, cooperative societies, foundations and clubs/associations) are taxed as such. As business companies they pay full tax on profits and capital. Taxes on profit and capital are considered deductible outlay.
Taxation of special types of companies
Companies with participations:
Companies with participations are juridical persons (corporate bodies) who participate in other companies to at least 10 %, or who have a share in such capital with a market value of at least 1 million Swiss Francs. These benefit from the so-called participation deduction which has the purpose of reducing the burden of multiple taxation.
These are understood to be juridical persons (corporate bodies) whose prime purpose is the permanent administration of holdings and who exercise no business operations in Switzerland. Companies of this type pay no cantonal tax on profits, provided that the holdings (investments) or the yield from them amount to at least two thirds of the total assets or earnings. In the Grisons, capital levies are only 0.05 per thousand or at least Fr. 300.-.
Similar to holding companies, public limited companies (corporations), which carry out administrative activities but no business operations in Switzerland, are largely exempt from the cantonal profits tax and in the Canton Grisons, pay reduced capital levies of 0.05 per thousand or at least Fr. 300.-.