On July 23, 2013, the Swiss Federal Tax Administration published the final version of Circular 37, which is supposed to implement/clarify the new federal law on the taxation of equity awards (from December 17, 2010). Circular 37 regulates the taxable event of equity awards, the treatment of transferring employees as well as the reporting obligations for equity awards.

Unfortunately, questions remain regarding the tax treatment of transferring employees, especially to or from countries that do not have a tax treaty with Switzerland. As a consequence, companies may still decide to obtain tax rulings to clarify the treatment of their expatriate employees or review their existing tax rulings to determine whether they may continue to apply.

With regard to new reporting obligations, Circular 37 provides that cantonal tax authorities may require companies to separately report the grant of equity awards and the relevant taxable event (in addition to reporting such events on the salary certificate).

However, other than a few cantons (notably St. Gallen, Vaud and Zurich), most cantons still do not require a separate report.