Thomas Meister
Dr. iur., LL.M., Attorney at Law
Certified Tax Expert
Partner

Thomas Meister Thomas Meister Thomas Meister Thomas Meister


Thomas Meister is head of the Tax Team. He is working in the fields of domestic and international corporate tax, including tax optimization, corporate and real estate finance, structured finance, corporate reorganizations, transaction structuring and M&A. Since 2004 he is an adjunct professor for tax law at the University of St. Gall.

Born in 1963, Thomas Meister was educated at the Universities of Lausanne and St. Gall (lic. iur. 1989, Dr. iur. 1995), New York University (LL.M. 1998), and graduated as certified tax expert (1996). For his doctoral thesis he received the 1995 Blumenstein Award. He has working experience as trainee in a Zurich law firm and District Court clerk, general secretary at the Zurich Revenue Service, tax associate in Zurich, Geneva and Washington D.C. law firms and tax partner in a Zurich law firm.

Thomas Meister speaks German, English and French. He is registered with the Zurich Bar Registry and also admitted in New York.

Contact
Thomas Meister
Direct phone: +41 58 658 55 73


Walder Wyss Ltd.
Seefeldstrasse 123
P.O. Box
8034 Zurich
Switzerland
Phone +41 58 658 58 58
Fax +41 58 658 59 59
vCard


Practice Areas

Thomas Meister Thomas Meister Thomas Meister Thomas Meister

Thomas Meister
Dr. iur., LL.M., Attorney at Law / Certified Tax Expert
Partner

Thomas Meister is head of the Tax Team. He is working in the fields of domestic and international corporate tax, including tax optimization, corporate and real estate finance, structured finance, corporate reorganizations, transaction structuring and M&A. Since 2004 he is an adjunct professor for tax law at the University of St. Gall.

Born in 1963, Thomas Meister was educated at the Universities of Lausanne and St. Gall (lic. iur. 1989, Dr. iur. 1995), New York University (LL.M. 1998), and graduated as certified tax expert (1996). For his doctoral thesis he received the 1995 Blumenstein Award. He has working experience as trainee in a Zurich law firm and District Court clerk, general secretary at the Zurich Revenue Service, tax associate in Zurich, Geneva and Washington D.C. law firms and tax partner in a Zurich law firm.

Thomas Meister speaks German, English and French. He is registered with the Zurich Bar Registry and also admitted in New York.

Thomas Meister
Direct phone: +41 58 658 55 73

Walder Wyss Ltd.
Seefeldstrasse 123
P.O. Box
8034 Zurich
Switzerland
Phone +41 58 658 58 58
Fax +41 58 658 59 59


vCard

Practice Areas Publications


Switzerland – Redomiciliations into Switzerland from a Swiss corporate and tax perspective

co-authored by Urs P. Gnos, Thomas Meister and Luc Defferrard
in: "Euromoney Yearbooks: International Mergers & Acquisitions Review"
Colchester 2011, pp. 184–188



Cross Border Financing: The Basics and the new Landscape

by Thomas Meister
co-authored by Kevin M. Keyes, Stale R. Kristiansen, Kimberly S. Blanchard, Andreas Risi, Patrick Mears and Clemens P. Schindler
in: "Tax Planning Strategies US and Europe"
Copenhagen 2010



Haftung im Steuerrecht

Speakers: Thomas Meister
Treuhandkammer Seminar
Zürich November 2009


Tax Planning in M&A Transactions – Loopholes & Pitfalls

Speakers: Thomas Meister
ACC M&A Seminar
Zurich April 2009


Kommentar zu Art. 671–674, 725–725a des Schweizerischen Obligationenrechts(Commentary to Art. 671–674, 725–725a of the Swiss Code of Obligations)

by Thomas Meister
in: "Handkommentar Schweizerisches Obligationenrecht" 2009




Structured Finance and Securitisation 2009/10: Switzerland

co-authored by Thomas Meister
in: "A multi-jurisdictional guide to structured finance and securitisation"
2009


Haftung im Steuerrecht

Speakers: Thomas Meister
Treuhandkammer Seminar
Zurich June 2008


Cross-Border Mergers and Reorganizations

Speakers: Thomas Meister
IFA Swiss-Italian Branch Meeting
Stresa May 2008


Haftungstatbestände im Schweizerischen Steuerrecht(Tax Liability in Switzerland)

by Thomas Meister
in: "Steuerrecht 2008 – best of zsis"
Zürich 2008


An overview of securitisation in Switzerland

co-authored by Thomas Meister, Johannes A. Bürgi and Evan Spangler
in: "Euromoney Yearbooks: Global Securitisation Review 2008/2009"
2008


Cross-Border Reorganizations

Speakers: Thomas Meister
OREF Seminar
Fribourg 2008


Structured Finance

Speakers: Thomas Meister
ISIS Seminar
Lausanne November 2007


Negotiating the Trade-Off – Conflicting Tax Interests

Speakers: Thomas Meister
IBA Tax Committee Panel
Singapore October 2007


Transfer of Tax Liability – Pitfalls

Speakers: Thomas Meister
ISIS Seminar
Lugano September 2007



Kommentar zu Art. 4, 10 und 11 des Stempelsteuergesetzes(Commentary to Art. 4, 10 and 11 of the Stamp Duty Act)

by Thomas Meister
in: "Kommentar Stempelabgaben"
Zürich/Basel/Genf 2006


Patronale Vorsorgebeiträge bei der Einkommens- und Quellensteuer(Income and Source Taxation of Employee Pension Scheme Contributions)

by Thomas Meister
in: "IFF Forum für Steuerrecht" 1/2005


Kommentar zu Art. 15 des Verrechnungssteuergesetzes(Commentary to Art. 15 of the Withholding Tax Act)

by Thomas Meister
in: "Kommentar zum Schweizerischen Steuerrecht, Bundesgesetz über die Verrechnungssteuer (VStG)"
Basel 2004


Abzugsfähigkeit von Steuern bei juristischen Personen(Deduction of Corporate Income Taxes)

co-authored by Maurus Winzap and Thomas Meister
in: "IFF Forum für Steuerrecht (FStR)" 1/2003


Besteuerung von Mitarbeiteraktien und -optionen(Taxation of Employee stock and Stock Options)

co-authored by Thomas Meister
in: "IFF Forum für Steuerrecht (FStR)" 1/2003


Optionen und Futures(Options and Futures)

co-authored by Thomas Meister
in: "Die Besteuerung in der Schweiz"
Zürich 2002


Verrechnungssteuer bei Provisionszahlungen(Swiss withholding taxes on commission payments)

by Thomas Meister
in: "IFF Forum für Steuerrecht (FStR)" 1/2001


Mechanismus der Anpassungsfristen im Steuerharmonisierungsrecht(Deadlines for Tax Harmonization)

by Thomas Meister
in: "IFF Forum für Steuerrecht (FStR)" 2001, pp. 79 ff.


Gewerbsmässiger Wertschriftenhandel – wie weiter?(Professional Securities Dealers – What's Next?)

by Thomas Meister
in: "IFF Forum für Steuerrecht (FStR)" 2/2001


Kapitaleinlage und Kapitalgewinne bei Vorratsaktien(Capital Contributions or Capital Gains on the Disposition of Treasure Stock)

by Thomas Meister
in: "IFF Forum für Steuerrecht (FStR)" 2/2001


Hybride Finanzierungsinstrumente und -vehikel im grenzüberschreitenden Verhältnis(Hybrid Financial Instruments and Entities in Cross-Border Transactions)

by Thomas Meister
in: "ASA Bulletin" 3/2001 (Archiv für Schweizerisches Abgaberecht (ASA))


Mechanismus der Anpassungsfristen im Steuerharmonisierungsrecht(Deadlines for Tax Harmonization)

by Thomas Meister
in: "IFF Forum für Steuerrecht (FStR)" 1/2001


Tax Treatment of Hybrid Financial Instruments in Cross-Border Transactions (Swiss National Report for the 2000 IFA Congress in Munich)

by Thomas Meister
in: "IFA Cahiers 2000"
2000


Rechtsmittelsystem der Steuerharmonisierung(Legal Remedies Under The Tax Harmonization Provisions)

by Thomas Meister
in: "Der Rechtsschutz nach StHG und DBG"
Berne/Stuttgart/Vienna 1995


Gedanken zur horizontalen und vertikalen Steuerharmonisierung(thoughts on tax harmonization)

by Thomas Meister
in: "Schweizer Treuhänder" 1993, pp. 297 ff.


Deals and Cases

Swiss Credit Card Securitisations 2015-1 and 2015-2 listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange

On 15 June 2015, Credit Suisse AG and Swisscard AECS GmbH (the Originators) closed their third credit card securitization transaction involving the issue by Swiss Credit Card Issuance 2015-1 AG (Issuer 2015-1) of CHF 190,000,000 0.180 per cent Asset-Backed Class A Notes (due 2020), CHF 6,000,000 1.125 per cent Asset-Backed Class B Notes (due 2020) and CHF 4,000,000 1.875 per cent Asset-Backed Class C Notes (due 2020) and by Swiss Credit Card Issuance 2015-2 AG (Issuer 2015-2) of CHF 190,000,000 0.340 per cent Asset-Backed Class A Notes (due 2022), CHF 6,000,000 1.500 per cent Asset-Backed Class B Notes (due 2022) and CHF 4,000,000 2.375 per cent Asset-Backed Class C Notes (due 2022) to the Swiss capital market. All Notes are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and are backed by a portfolio of Swiss Visa, MasterCard, and American Express credit card receivables originated by Credit Suisse and Swisscard – a joint venture between Credit Suisse and American Express. The transactions were again issued through Credit Suisse’s and Swisscard’s credit card receivables securitization platform.
 
The proceeds of the two transactions will mainly be used to refinance the Originators’ first securitization transaction that was redeemed in full on 15 June 2015. Also, the two transactions have been structured to address and allow for the consummation of the potential upcoming general business transfer from Credit Suisse to Swisscard which, if and when consummated, includes the transfer of the credit card receivables portfolio. Simultaneously, the Originators’ credit card receivables securitization platform and the current second credit card securitization transaction involving the issue by Swiss Credit Card Issuance No. 2 Ltd. of CHF 189,800,000 0.40 per cent Asset-Backed Class A Notes (due 2016), CHF 6,200,000 1.80 per cent Asset-Backed Class B Notes (due 2016) and CHF 4,000,000 2.70 per cent Asset-Backed Class C Notes (due 2016) have been partially amended and restated to address and allow for the potential business transfer.
 
Walder Wyss advised the Originators on the overall structuring and all Swiss legal, tax and VAT aspects of the transaction. The Walder Wyss team included Lukas Wyss (Partner, Finance), Johannes A. Bürgi (Partner, Finance), Thomas Meister (Partner, Tax), Thomas S. Müller (Partner, Finance), Jan Ole Luuk (Counsel, VAT), Anna Baldenbach von Bröchen (Associate, Finance), Janine Corti (Associate, Tax), Anna-Lynn Fromer (Trainee, Finance) and Valentin Wiesner (Trainee, Finance).


Relocation of Oriflame

Oriflame Cosmetics SA, Luxembourg (OCSA), envisages to relocate the Oriflame group from Luxembourg to Switzerland. The proposed change of domicile is done through a share-for-share offer with the OCSA shareholders invited to exchange their current holdings of shares and Swedish depository receipts in OCSA (OCSA SDRs) for shares in a newly established Swiss company named Oriflame Holding AG (OHAG). The acceptance period of the exchange offer commenced on 26 May 2015 and expires on 15 June 2015. Provided that the exchange offer is successfully completed, OHAG will become the new parent company of OCSA and, thus, the Oriflame group. In connection with the completion of the exchange offer, OCSA SDRs will be delisted and the OHAG shares will be listed on the main market of Nasdaq Stockholm.
 
Walder Wyss acts as Swiss legal advisor to Oriflame Holding AG. The team is led by Urs P. Gnos (Partner, Corporate/M&A) together with Simon Kehl (Managing Associate, Corporate/M&A) and further includes Thomas Meister (Partner, Tax), Lukas Wyss (Partner, Finance), Ueli Sommer (Partner, Employment), Barbara A. Keiser (Associate, Corporate/M&A), Boris Räber (Associate, Corporate/M&A), Janine Corti (Associate, Tax), Tervel Stoyanov (Associate, Finance) and Nico Bernhard (Trainee, Corporate/M&A).


Cembra’s CHF 200’000’000 Swiss Auto Lease ABS transaction listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange

On 23 March 2015, Cembra Money Bank AG (Cembra) closed its third auto lease securitization transaction involving the issue by Swiss Auto Lease 2015-1 GmbH (the Issuer) of CHF 200,000,000 0.23 per cent. Asset-Backed Class A Notes due 2025 and CHF 22,600,000 0.40 per cent. Asset-Backed Class B Notes due 2025 to the Swiss capital market. The Notes issued are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and are backed by a portfolio of auto lease assets originated by Cembra and transferred to the Issuer.

Walder Wyss advised Cembra also on this third transaction on the overall structuring and all Swiss legal tax and VAT aspects of the transaction. The Walder Wyss team included Lukas Wyss (Partner, Finance), Johannes A. Bürgi (Partner, Finance), Thomas Meister (Partner, Tax), Thomas Müller (Partner, Finance), Jan Ole Luuk (Counsel, VAT), Ramona Wyss (Associate, Finance) and David Henseler (Trainee, Finance).


Walder Wyss advises HSH Nordbank AG on a securitisation transaction of trade receivables originated in Germany, Sweden and Switzerland

Alongside with Clifford Chance Frankfurt (lead) and Advokatfirman Vinge, Walder Wyss has advised HSH Nordbank AG on the SME securitisation of trade receivables acquired in Germany, Sweden and Switzerland by ABS Global Factoring AG from local originators via Smart Fact S.A., a securitisation company in Luxembourg.

In the context of this transaction, German and Swiss trade receivables were transferred via a German factoring company to Smart Fact S.A. Swedish trade receivables were transferred via a Swedish factoring company to Smart Fact S.A. Following similar purchases, this transaction was another successful expansion of the securitisation refinancing platform for ABS Global Factoring AG through Smart Fact S.A.

Walder Wyss advised on all Swiss legal and Swiss tax aspects of the transaction. The Walder Wyss team was led by Johannes A. Bürgi (Partner, Banking Finance) as well as by Thomas Meister (Partner, Tax) and further included Elisabeth Moskric (Counsel, Banking Finance), Jan Hoffmann (Associate, Banking Finance) and Janine Corti (Associate, Tax).


Bundesgerichtsurteil pauschale Steueranrechnung (only in German)

Eine Versicherungsgesellschaft mit Sitz in Basel wies einen handelsrechtlichen Gewinn von CHF 30.7 Mio. aus. Dieser bestand aus dem Ergebnis des versicherungstechnischen Geschäfts (61.5 Mio.), des nichtversicherungstechnischen Geschäfts (-16.7 Mio.) und den verbuchten Steuern (-14.1 Mio.). Die baselstädtische Steuerverwaltung verweigerte die pauschale Steueranrechnung für nicht rückforderbare ausländische Quellensteuern («Sockelsteuern») auf Zinsen und Portfoliodividenden aus Abkommensländern. Sie machte geltend, der steuerbare Gewinn setze sich zusammen aus einem Betriebsverlust von -2.3 Mio. und einem Wertzuwachsgewinn auf einer Genfer Liegenschaft von 32.6 Mio. Somit sei bloss der Genfer Wertzuwachsgewinn versteuert worden, nicht hingegen die quellensteuerbelasteten ausländischen Dividenden und Zinsen.

Das Bundesgericht gab der Versicherungsgesellschaft Recht (Entscheid 2C_64/2013 vom 26. September 2014): Es bestätigte, dass die anwendbaren Doppelbesteuerungsabkommen des Bundes die Anrechnung nur für quellensteuerbelastete Erträgnisse vorsehen, die in der Schweiz besteuert werden («subject to tax»). Obergrenze für die Anrechnung bilden die auf diesen Erträgnissen anfallenden schweizerischen Steuern («Maximalbetrag»). Streitig war, ob die Besteuerung der Erträgnisse aufgrund einer Spartenrechnung zu beurteilen sei. Das Bundesgericht verneinte dies; auszugehen ist vielmehr vom Gesamtbetrag der Erträgnisse (ein «Topf»), was einer isolierten Betrachtung der quellensteuerbelasteten Erträgnisse getrennt von den andern  («Spartenrechnung») entgegen steht. Daher ist der Maximalbetrag nicht für jede Einkunftsart (quellensteuerbelastete ausländische vs. übrige Erträge) gesondert zu ermitteln («Spartenrechnung»), sondern gesamthaft (ein «Topf»). Daran ändert auch die interkantonale Steuerausscheidung nichts.

Das Bundesgericht wies die Angelegenheit an die Vorinstanz zur Neuberechnung des Betrags der pauschalen Steueranrechnung zurück. Dabei habe die Vorinstanz auch zu überprüfen, ob Art. 11 der Verordnung über die pauschale Steueranrechnung zur Anwendung gelangt (Berücksichtigung von Schuldzinsen, Unkosten und anderen Abzügen). Die Versicherungsgesellschaft hatte geltend gemacht, dass diese Bestimmung zu vage und unbestimmt und die Delegation an das Eidgenössische Finanzdepartment zwecks Regelung der Einzelheiten unzulässig sei. Donc, affaire à suivre.

Walder Wyss hat die Versicherungsgesellschaft vor dem Bundesgericht vertreten. Das Team bestand aus Marcus Desax, Thomas Meister (Partner) und Fabienne Limacher (alle Tax Team).


Curriculum Vitae PDF