Switzerland: Mandatory e-filing of VAT returns beginning in 2021

Switzerland: Mandatory e-filing of VAT returns

Swiss value added tax (VAT) returns must be filed electronically beginning 1 January 2021.

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Persons registered to file Swiss VAT returns (or their fiscal representatives) have been able to file on a voluntary basis their VAT returns electronically since 8 September 2015. However, according to statistics from the Swiss federal tax administration, as of early 2020, approximately 50% of these filers submitted their VAT returns on paper forms.

In June 2019, the Swiss federal tax administration announced that the electronic filing of a VAT return would be required. The last VAT return that can be submitted on paper will be the VAT return for the third quarter of 2020. The return for the fourth quarter of 2020 will have to be filed electronically.

Beginning 1 January 2021, there will be two options:

  • SuisseTax platform (“ESTV SuisseTax”)—This tool has already been available since 2015. It allows taxpayers to track all processes, to correct prior VAT returns, to apply for a deadline extension, and to use the embedded automated tax calculation function. The tool also sends automatic reminders to the registered user on the upcoming VAT return filing deadline.
  • “VAT return easy”—This is a new tool that will be available as of 1 January 2021, however, the introduction of this system may be delayed due to COVID-19.

The most important difference between the two systems—the ESTV SuisseTax and VAT return easy—is that the latter does not require a registration. However, compared to ESTV SuisseTax, it also provides fewer features for taxpayers. For example, it is not possible to correct past returns or extend a deadline, and there is no functionality allowing a direct upload from the taxpayer’s ERP system.


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

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