• Service: Tax, German Tax & Legal Center (GTLC)
  • Date: 2/19/2013

One of a kind – the Double Taxation Agreement between Germany and Switzerland 

German Tax and Legal Center
Almost no double taxation agreement contains so many specifics and deviations from the OECD model agreement as the Double Tax Treaty between Germany and Switzerland ( “DTT DE-CH”). Only few clients are aware of its facets and specifics from a practical application viewpoint.

A comprehensive agreement with plenty of pitfalls


The DTT DE-CH and the corresponding Double Tax Treaty on Estate and Inheritance taxation contain an abundance of special provisions that are potentially of great significance for both companies and individuals dealing with cross-border issues regarding Germany and Switzerland. The following aspects are crucial:


  • Specifics in respect of dual residence and permanent home: overriding and competing taxation
  • Modified lump-sum taxation
  • Specifics for companies dual resident in two countries
  • Partnerships
  • Cross-border commuters, senior executives
  • Specifics for governing board members
  • Anti-abuse provision
  • Specifics in the so-called method article (e.g. activity restriction)
  • New so-called arbitration clause
  • Developments on exchange of information and group enquiries


The DTT DE-CH contains many rules that provide opportunities but  such rules can also represent major challenges when dealing with the mentioned issues. Our experience shows that the following issues are of greatest interest for clients:


  • Individual tax strategies
  • Cross-border structuring
  • Judicial proceedings regarding DTT DE-CH in Germany
  • Succession planning in the context of the inheritance tax agreement between Germany and Switzerland


The introduction of a new and comprehensive arbitration clause has significantly improved legal certainty and planning reliability for taxpayers. Our experienced tax advisors and lawyers in the German Tax & Legal Center have conducted judicial proceedings regarding the DTT DE-CH and will gladly assist you in any potential future legal proceedings.



How can KPMG support you?


We examine your individual situation and explain possible opportunities and risks to you: Cross-border advice between Germany and Switzerland is one of the core skills of tax advisors and lawyers in KPMG's German Tax & Legal Center in Zurich. Our day-to-day work has resulted in many years of practical experience and comprehensive expertise that is not only recognized by the marketplace but is also integrated in many commentaries on double taxation agreements in Germany and Switzerland.


We offer advice and assistance on any questions you might possibly have regarding the DTT DE-CH or other issues related to current developments in German and Swiss tax law.



Hotline, German Tax & Legal Center: +41 58 249 44 44


Heiko Kubaile

Heiko Kubaile

Partner, Head of German Tax & Legal Center

+41 58 249 35 10

Astrid Nelsen

Astrid Nelsen

Senior Manager, German Tax & Legal Center

+41 58 249 28 56

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