Tax Location Attractiveness at a Glance

The following chart shows the overall results of the BAK Taxation Index for all of the researched countries and Swiss cantons. The graph shows the actual tax rates for corporations und highly qualified individuals. The intersection of the two axes denotes the average of the  BAK Taxation Index 2017.


BAK Taxation Index 2017


Notes: The effective burden for corporations and highly qualified individuals is expressed as a percentage. The axes cross at 29 percent (BAK Taxation Index ∅ for corporations) and 38.5 percent (BAK Taxation Index ∅ for highly qualified individuals). The tax burden is measured at the cantonal (Swiss locations) or commercial capital of a country (international locations).
Red - Swiss cantons; yellow, blue, green - international locations.
Source: ZEW /BAK Economics


  • The Swiss cantons (red) are rated very good on average in the 2017 BAK Taxation Index for corporations and highly qualified individuals. All cantons show tax burdens, which are clearly below the x-axis (tax burden for highly qualified individuals) or left of the y-axis (tax burden for corporations) and thus are below the average of the BAK Taxation Index in both categories. This means that the cantonal reviews have a very competitive standing in international tax competition.

  • The Asian locations of Hong Kong and Singapore (yellow) are able to position themselves even better than the Swiss cantons. For the taxation of highly qualified individuals, in particular, they are considerably better than the Swiss locations. In contrast to these, China, which has a moderate tax burden for corporations as well as for highly qualified individuals, is less attractive than the reviewed Swiss cantons in location tax competition.

  • All eastern European locations have corporate tax rates at low rates similar to those in the Swiss cantons. With regard to highly qualified individuals, however, they are not entirely able to compete. Both Hungary and Slovenia tax employees at a higher rate than the Swiss cantons.

  • The Scandinavian nations stand out through a combination of below-average taxes on capital (corporations) and rather above-average taxes on employment (highly qualified individuals).

  • The rest of the analyzed European countries show moderate to high tax burdens for workers. The picture is more differentiated within this group of countries for corporation taxation: major countries, such as France, Germany or Spain, burden their domiciled corporations with high tax rates; smaller countries have lower corporate tax burdens.

Detailed results for numerous international locations can be found here: