International law firm Baker & McKenzie has been representing Johnson Matthey PLC and its Swiss subsidiary in its five-year fight against an order of the Federal Tax Administration (FTA) claiming additional VAT of more than CHF 15 million.
The FTA claimed that Johnson Matthey Switzerland should have charged VAT not only on its refinery services, but also on the value of its customers’ refined precious metals. The Federal Supreme Court's decision, which was very clearly in favor of Johnson Matthey, holds that only the fees for the refining of the precious metals must be charged with VAT and that the value of the refined precious metals returned to the customers is not subject to VAT. Accordingly, the court indicated that the FTA's long-standing practice needs to be revised.
The team of Baker McKenzie Switzerland was led by Tobias Rohner (partner, Tax).