E-filing is the new normal
As stated in our previous blog, all Swiss VAT returns will need to be submitted electronically as of 1 January 2021. As such, taxpayers who still filed their Swiss VAT returns on paper in the past – such were still around 50% at the beginning of 2020 – will need to switch to e-filing starting with their VAT return covering the 4th quarter or the 2nd semester of 2020.
To ease the switch for the many (small and medium sized) companies that have long preferred the simplicity of paper filing, the Swiss Federal Tax Authorities created an additional online filing platform with "MWST-Abrechnung easy" ("VAT return easy"), which went live on 1 January 2021. Compared to the long-existing "ESTV SuisseTax" platform, which offers many additional features, this new platform simplifies the online declaration process and reduces it to the essentials.
The "ESTV SuisseTax" platform has already been available since 2015. On top of the regularly filing of VAT returns, it allows taxpayers to track all processes in a personal overview, to correct historical VAT returns, apply for deadline extension and benefit from the embedded automated tax calculation function. The platform also sends automatic reminders to the registered user on the upcoming VAT return filing deadline.
The new "VAT return easy" platform is simpler and more straightforward. Where it does not need a separate registration, it fewer features for taxpayers compared to "ESTV SuisseTax". We summarized these for you in the below overview:
|Overview online features
||VAT return easy||ESTV SuisseTax
|One-time registration required||No||Yes|
|Simplified login via Swiss mobile phone number||Yes||No|
|Free of charge||Yes||Yes|
|Online completion and submission of VAT returns||Yes||Yes|
|Automatic calculation of the tax||Yes||Yes|
|Secure 24/7 access online||Yes||Yes|
|Reminder functionality for the submission of the next VAT return||Yes||Yes|
|Fiduciary companies can have their clients sign the return for approval on paper; submission by regular mail possible||Yes||No|
|Recording of the banking details for reimbursement of VAT credits||Yes||Yes|
|Fiduciary companies can view all their client’s outstanding returns and apply for deadline extensions where required||No||Yes|
|Fiduciary companies can apply for a deadline extension for all outstanding VAT returns of their clients at once||No||Yes|
|Subsequent online submission of corrective returns and annual reconciliation||No||Yes|
|Tracking of processes in the company overview||No||Yes|
|Requesting extensions of deadlines||No||Yes|
|Functionality to upload directly from the accounting software||No||Yes|
|Ordering business and registration certificates||No||Yes|
In case you are still filing the VAT returns on paper and/or you need help in selecting the appropriate VAT eFiling solution for your organization, please do not hesitate to contact us.