Switzerland has agreed to continue the flexible application of social security rules for remote workers until 31 December 2022. Tax agreements with France and Italy are extended until October for France and until further notice for Italy. The agreement with Germany ended in July 2022.
During the course of the pandemic and related border closures, and in recognition of widespread working from home, various agreements on tax and social security have been concluded and extended to coordinate taxation and social security rules for frontier workers. This article provides the latest overview of active, extended and terminated agreements for countries neighbouring Switzerland.
Switzerland concluded consultation agreements with France, Germany, Italy and Liechtenstein on the taxation of international workers, with a special focus on cross-border commuters who used their home office as their physical place of work. These special agreements ensured continuity in the way international employees are taxed, despite the pandemic circumstances.
Due to the ongoing pandemic and the respective measures taken, the agreement with France has now been formally extended until 31 October 2022, while the agreement with Italy remains applicable until further notice. On 22 July 2022 Italy and Switzerland released a joint statement agreeing that the rules described in the original consultation agreement will apply regardless of any COVID-19 restrictions.
On the other hand, the agreement with Germany expired on 30 June 2022, while the one with Liechtenstein expired on 31 March 2022. No mutual agreement was ever concluded with Austria.
Overview of consultation agreements with Germany, France, Italy, Liechtenstein (status per 20 August 2022)
|Agreement with||valid as of||valid until||applicable for|
||24.02.2020||Until further notice; discussions planned for October 2022||
For countries that have not signed separate consultation agreements with Switzerland, no deemed Swiss place of work or other form of relief applies if the employee works from home in another country. In this respect, the general regulations of the respective double tax treaties as well as OECD recommendations continue to apply with regard to the allocation of taxation rights regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Switzerland has agreed to the European Union’s approach to continue the flexible application of social security rules for remote workers until 31 December 2022. Until this regulation expires, stay-at-home orders and foreign home office days will not lead to a change in social security subordination, even if the cross-border employees exceed the threshold of 25% work activity in their residency state.
Should these regulations not be extended as of January 2023, the common rules of the EU regulation 883/2004 are applicable. However, the Swiss authorities emphasized that the coordination rules as of January 2023 should allow teleworking in the residency state to a certain extent without impacting the applicable social security legislation.
From a Swiss authorities’ perspective, it is currently not necessary to obtain an A1 Certificate in such situations. Generally, it is recommended to track workdays and place of work with a travel calendar.
|Persons covered by the EU/EFTA Regulations
||31.12.2022||Flexible application of social security rules in the context of teleworking
|Persons not covered by a Totalization Agreement||undefined||No change in social security legislation if work activity cannot be physically performed in Switzerland due to COVID-19 measurements.|
|Persons not covered by a Totalization Agreement||undefined||Subordination to Swiss social security remains unchanged based on work contract in Switzerland even if physical work activity cannot be performed in Switzerland due to COVID-19 measurements.|