Press Room

September 18, 2017

From Switzerland: Partial Amendment to Swiss VAT Law

Roberto Cavadini and Paolo Mondia - Andersen Tax in Lugano, a member firm of Andersen Global


A partial amendment of Swiss VAT law will enter into force after January 1, 2018, and will have an impact on businesses not established in Switzerland.

Currently, VAT tax liability of companies not established in Switzerland depends on the turnover subject to the VAT it generates in Switzerland. As of January 1, 2018, foreign businesses may be liable to pay Swiss VAT on its turnover generated in Switzerland if it generates at least CHF 100,000 worldwide.

Moreover, mail-order companies with a place of business abroad will be treated the same as companies based in Switzerland. Today, mail-order companies delivering into Switzerland are not liable for VAT for so called small consignments (VAT less than CHF 5). However, under the new Swiss VAT law from January 1, 2019, if a mail-order company generates a turnover from small consignments of a minimum of CHF 100,000 per year, these consignments will be considered domestic deliveries and therefore liable to Swiss VAT.

If a non-established business in Switzerland fulfills the requirements for VAT liability, other than registering with the Federal Tax Administration, it also has to appoint a tax representative situated in Switzerland.