Effective voluntary disclosure amnesty - an easy way? 

After the failure of the tax agreement between Germany and Switzerland, the voluntary disclosure has been put back into focus.

Looking at the simple letter of the law on voluntary disclosure (§ 371 AO) one might get the impression than an amnesty can be easily obtained. However, every single requirement for obtaining amnesty contains pitfalls.

Not only is the interpretation of the law controversial, but case law has also toughened the rules of the game, especially after the decision of 20 May 2010. At the same time, lawmakers have responded to the various scandals concerning data with new, stricter laws, such as the prevention of tax evasion law of 29 July 2009 and the money-laundering prevention law of 28 April 2011. Now, when filing a voluntary disclosure, "the first shot must be a bull’s-eye,” otherwise the reward of voluntary disclosure will not be the amnesty sought after. Here the so-called "all-or-nothing principle" applies.



Key issues of the vountary disclosure amnesty:


  • timely filing possible
  • a complete regularisation of the fiscal past is required
  • prevention of possible house searches
  • financial cost (income tax, interest, etc.) is often only between 11% and 17%

    - lower personal tax rate

    - strongly equity-based buy and hold strategy

    - high foreign withholding tax/ZIV

    - losses can be offset



How can KPMG assist you?


You will benefit in full from our years of practical experience, which takes the latest developments and toughening of the rules into account. KPMG can assist you with the many issues concerning the voluntary disclosure amnesty. 


  • Holistic and solution-oriented consultation in connection with voluntary disclosure and / or criminal tax proceedings
  • Full provision of services entirely within Switzerland, so that documents do not need cross borders

Heiko Kubaile

Heiko Kubaile

Partner, Head of German Tax & Legal Center

+41 58 249 35 10

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