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VAT in Switzerland

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On January 1, 1995, Switzerland introduced its Value Added Tax (VAT) system. The regulations governing VAT in Switzerland are outlined in the “Federal Law on Value-Added Tax,” enacted on June 12, 2009. As Switzerland is not a member of the European Union (EU), its VAT law is not directly influenced by European VAT laws and judgments.

However, during the formulation of the current Swiss VAT legislation, there was a clear intention to align it with EU regulations, aiming for harmonization. Although national courts and agencies in Switzerland may consider EU regulations or rulings when interpreting national legislation, it’s important to note that certain Swiss laws differ from those of the EU.

Everything related to VAT in Switzerland is included in our comprehensive guide below.

Switzerland VAT Guide

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Switzerland – Scope of Taxation

The enforcement of Value Added Tax (VAT) in Switzerland applies across the whole nation, inclusive of customs enclaves, as stated in the Swiss Customs Law. This area is frequently known as the “Swiss territory”, “Inland”, or “territoire Suisse” in French. The regions covered by the Swiss territory for VAT implications include:

  • Switzerland
  • Customs and bonded warehouses at Swiss ports
  • Principality of Liechtenstein
  • Büsingen am Hochrhein, which is a German municipality.

In summary, VAT regulations apply to these specified areas within Swiss territory as defined by Swiss Customs Law.

Taxable persons include:

According to Article 10 of the Swiss VAT Law, a taxable person is defined as an individual or entity engaged in business activities, regardless of their legal structure, with the intention of generating a consistent income through the provision of goods or services. This definition encompasses the following criteria:

  • Involvement in professional or commercial transactions.
  • Aim to earn a sustainable income through the supply of goods or services under one’s own brand and independently.
  • Activities should not be of a temporary nature, but rather conducted on an ongoing basis.
  • Involvement in the manufacturing of goods and/or services intended for global sales.
  • If materials are utilized, the completion of the task is solely undertaken by the taxable company, assuming the associated risks as an entrepreneur.

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Switzerland –  General VAT information

Tax authority Federal Tax Administration    
VAT in local language Mehrwertsteuer (MWST), Taxe sur la valeur ajoutée (TVA), Imposta sul valore aggiunto (IVA)
Currency CHf Swiss Franc
VAT number format CHE-123.456.789 MWST
CHE-123.456.789 MWST
VAT rates

 

Standard 7.7%; Reduced 2.5%; and 3.7%
Zero-rated (0%) and exempt
Thresholds

 

Registration
Established CHF 100,000
Non-established CHF 100,000
Intra-EU Distance sales and electronically supplied services to consumers (OSS) CHF 100,000

 

VAT Group Available – it is permissible for eligible entities to form a VAT group, where they are considered as a single taxable person for VAT-related matters
Voluntary Registration Allowed
Intra-EU Dispatches N/A
Intra-EU Arrivals N/A
Recovery of VAT by non-established businesses Yes
Compliance Returns and Deadlines
VAT Returns Last day of the month following the end of the period
Frequency Monthly and Quarterly
European Sales Listing Not Allowed
Intrastat Not Allowed
Electronic Invoicing Optional for B2C B2B transactions. Mandatory for supplies made to the federal administration with a contract value of 5,000 francs or greater.


 

Last Updated: 09/08/2023

Disclaimer

The information provided by Global VAT Compliance B.V. on this webpage is intended for general informational purposes only. Global VAT Compliance B.V. is not responsible for the accuracy of the information on these pages, and cannot be held liable for claims or losses deriving from the use of this information. If you wish to receive VAT related information please contact our experts at support@gvc.tax

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