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Switzerland: Tax measures in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Switzerland: Tax measures in response to coronavirus

The Swiss government has implemented measures to address the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.


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With regard to these tax relief measures, the Swiss government on 20 March 2020 announced additional assistance for companies.

  • Businesses may extend payment periods for value added tax (VAT), customs duties, special excise taxes, and incentive taxes, without having to pay interest. For this reason, the interest rate on late payments will be reduced to 0.0% in the period from 21 March 2020 to 31 December 2020. No interest on arrears will be charged during this period.
  • Additionally, administrative units of the cantons have been directed to check accounts payable invoices quickly and settle them as soon as possible, without taking advantage of payment deadlines.

The approach of the Swiss tax authority concerning relief related to value added tax (VAT) reflects the following:

  • To benefit from tax payment deferrals, companies must file a written request in accordance with provisions of the VAT law, and this applies to all taxpayers including foreign companies with a Swiss tax representative. All applications must be submitted by email or post. No separate procedure is currently planned.
  • The Swiss tax authority is currently prioritizing the review of requests for early payments of VAT credits and is aiming for fast payment settlement.
  • The late-payment interest rate of 0.0% applies to all VAT payment obligations regardless of when the obligation arose, for the period from 20 March to 31 December 2020.
  • There are currently no separate extensions to the deadlines for VAT refund procedures planned (i.e., the deadline concerning VAT incurred in the calendar year 2019 is still 30 June 2020).

Read a March 2020 report prepared by the KPMG member firm in Switzerland

The KPMG logo and name are trademarks of KPMG International. KPMG International is a Swiss cooperative that serves as a coordinating entity for a network of independent member firms. KPMG International provides no audit or other client services. Such services are provided solely by member firms in their respective geographic areas. KPMG International and its member firms are legally distinct and separate entities. They are not and nothing contained herein shall be construed to place these entities in the relationship of parents, subsidiaries, agents, partners, or joint venturers. No member firm has any authority (actual, apparent, implied or otherwise) to obligate or bind KPMG International or any member firm in any manner whatsoever. The information contained in herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation. For more information, contact KPMG's Federal Tax Legislative and Regulatory Services Group at: + 1 202 533 4366, 1801 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20006.

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