VAT Returns & Recovery in Switzerland

Typically, VAT returns in Switzerland are required to be filed on a quarterly basis. However, if a taxpayer consistently submits VAT returns that show an input VAT credit, they may request the Swiss Federal Tax Administration (FTA) to grant monthly declaration periods. For both quarterly and monthly reporting periods, the filing deadline is 60 days after the respective quarter or month ends.

Taxpayers who utilize flat tax rates are obligated to file VAT returns semi-annually. The filing deadline for these returns is also 60 days after the end of the taxable period.

Read more about VAT recovery and VAT returns in Switzerland in our comprehensive guide below.

Switzerland VAT Guide

VAT Returns in Switzerland

Extension of deadlines

In cases where additional time is needed, taxpayers can request an extension of the filing deadlines from the FTA. This can be done through the Tax Administration’s ePortal or the FTA’s official website. While extensions are typically granted, it is important to note that they do not alter the payment deadlines. Late payment interest will still apply in such cases.


In the case of a delayed payment of any VAT, a late payment interest rate of 4% per annum is generally applied.

For foreign companies, there is no late-payment interest charged on the deposit as the VAT registration is granted only after the deposit has been provided.

However, late payment of the collateral can lead to retrospective VAT liabilities, resulting in late payment interest being applied to VAT that was already due before the VAT registration was finalized. As mentioned in Section 8.5.1, if a taxpayer is required to make an additional VAT payment for a previous tax period due to a correction, the Federal Tax Administration (FTA) will issue an invoice to the taxpayer for the corresponding interest charges.


Swiss VAT law generally enforces late payment interest and assessments rather than criminal proceedings. Main offenses include tax evasion, procedural noncompliance, and buying untaxed goods, with penalties proportional to the amount involved, reaching up to 800,000 francs for tax evasion. Strict enforcement is not currently common, despite legal provisions.

Exempt Supplies or Equivalent

Article 21 of the Swiss VAT Law outlines a range of supplies that are exempt from VAT without allowing for input VAT deduction. This means that no deduction for input VAT is permitted for the provision of these supplies, unless the taxpayer voluntarily opts for the taxation of such supplies.

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VAT Recovery in Switzerland

Deduction and Recovery of Input Tax

According to Article 28 of the Swiss VAT Law, a taxable person is generally allowed to recover VAT incurred during their business activities, subject to the rules of “input VAT deduction.” This means that domestic VAT, import VAT, and acquisition tax are all eligible for input VAT recovery.
The amount of output VAT that a business owes can be offset by the input VAT amount. In other words, businesses can deduct the VAT they have paid on inputs from the VAT they have collected on their outputs.


Last Updated: 09/08/2023


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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