Switzerland Tax Guide


Currency: Swiss Franc

Foreign Exchange Control: No restrictions on import or export of capital.

Accounting Principles: Swiss GAAP. Financial statements prepared annually.

Business Entities: Principally, corporation (AG), limited liability company (GmbH) and branch of a foreign company

Corporate Taxation

Residence: If registered office or place of effective management in Switzerland

Basis: Resident companies subject to tax on worldwide income except on profits from foreign branches; non-resident companies only subject to tax on Swiss-sourced income.

Rate: Federal tax rate of 8.5%. Taking into account both federal and cantonal/communal income tax, combined effective rate is typically between 12%-22%.

Foreign Tax: No credit granted for foreign tax paid

Other: Relief is granted for dividends received from qualifying participations. The mixed company tax privilege is granted to companies with predominantly foreign business activities.

Tax Year: Accounting year

Personal Taxation

Residence: Resident individual subject to tax on worldwide income except for profits on foreign businesses; non-resident individual only taxed on Swiss-sourced income (Resident if >89 days in a tax year or 30 days carrying out a business activity).

Rate: Progressive up to 11.5%

Capital Gains: Gains on sale of shares or real property exempt; all other capital gains are subject to tax.

Other: 1% stamp duty on equity contributions to a Swiss company with a CHF 1m exemption on issuance of shares and exemptions for mergers, transfers etc.

No federal tax on inheritance, real property or net wealth but cantons may levy a tax.

Social Security: 10.3% divided between employer and employee

VAT: Rate is 8%, with registration threshold of CHF 100,000.

Member Firm: Merkli & Partner AG

Christian Feller: feller@merkli-partner.ch