Federal court ruling on the qualification of wages by compensation funds

Federal court ruling on the qualification of wages by compensation funds

background
The question of how high a dividend should be in relation to the wage has been a concern of equalization funds in the past. Compensation funds have often reclassified dividends into wage components and thus made them subject to AHV contributions. The Federal Supreme Court put an end to this handling with its decision of April 8, 2015 (9C_837 / 2014).

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The decision of the Federal Supreme Court stipulates that a re-qualification by the compensation office is only possible if there is an “obvious disproportion between the work performed and the related salary”. In order to assess how high the remuneration can be, all objective and subjective factors must be taken into account. Furthermore, it must be checked whether the remuneration can stand up to a third-party comparison.

Conclusion
This decision means that compensation offices are bound by clear guidelines. The margin of discretion, which in some cases was generously used by compensation offices in the past to determine appropriate remuneration, has thus been significantly reduced. The re-qualification of wages into dividends should be the exception in the future.

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