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Switzerland Publishes New English-Language VAT Guide

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

06 December 2019

The Swiss Federal Tax Authority has released new English-language guidance for foreign businesses on their obligations under Swiss VAT law.

VAT Info No. 22 Foreign businesses, which has newly been issued in English, contains key information concerning the tax, reporting, and accounting obligations for businesses that have their place of domicile or business abroad. It is intended to enable foreign businesses to clarify whether they are liable for tax in Switzerland in relation to the activities they undertake there, and whether they are obligated to register with the FTA.

The guidance notes that, since January 1, 2018, any business domiciled in Switzerland, or a foreign business that provides goods or services there, is liable to register for VAT if they generate a worldwide turnover of at least CHF100,000 (USD101,000) from either taxable or zero-rated supplies.

Those with turnover below this threshold are not required to register for value-added tax purposes but may register on a voluntary basis.

The value of sales that are either exempt in Switzerland, or are subject to reverse charge VAT, are not taken into account when calculating whether a company is obligated to register for value-added tax.

The guidance goes on to explain the VAT rules for businesses that performs work or labor on Swiss territory under a contract, the requirement to register within 30 days of exceeding the CHF100,000 VAT registration threshold, and the requirement to appoint a tax representative in Switzerland for foreign businesses that lack a domicile or place of business in Switzerland.

TAGS: compliance | VAT tax authority guidance | VAT registration / deregistration | tax | business | value added tax (VAT) | revenue guidance | VAT legislation | tax thresholds | tax authority | legislation | Switzerland | tax reform | services | VAT compliance matters

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