The Tax Harmonisation Act (StHG) of 14 December 1990, which entered into force on 1 January 1993, in the main has only been implemented by the Cantons in recent months due to the impending expiry of the legal adaptation period.
The result of tax harmonisation was that all Cantons are now obliged by Swiss law to charge real estate gains tax. A consequence of this, for example, is that there was a change in loss offsetting in Cantons which previously did not levy real estate gains tax.3
In order to take an investment decision, therefore, and indeed in general, it is necessary to clarify how the real estate gains tax system is structured (indirect loss offsetting, mitigation of double taxation by setting off Canton and local authority taxes against real estate gains tax, progressive tax rates etc.).
3 Previously, a taxpayer in a Canton with no real estate losses from his business operations or other real estate losses was able to fully offset his real estate gains. Direct loss offsetting was of particular interest to professional developers (architects, building contractors, general contractors, investors, real estate companies etc.).