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Switzerland Individual - Other taxes

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Social security contributions

If an individual is subject to the Swiss social security the following social security contributions are payable: 

Insurance  Contribution rate Cap (CHF)
Employer (%) Employee (%)
Old age, survivors’ and disability insurance 5.125 5.125 No cap
Unemployment Insurance 1.1 1.1 148,200
Supplementary Unemployment Insurance  0.5  0.5  above 148,200
Family Compensation Fund 1-3 0 No cap
Occupational accident insurance 0.17 to 13.5 0 148,200
Non-occupational accident insurance 0 1 to 4 148,200
Occupational pension scheme Depending on pension plan, employer specific Depending on pension plan, employer specific  
Medical insurance   Depending on coverage, private insurance  

All social security taxes (except for the medical insurance) are the employer’s responsibility. The employer must withhold and remit the total deduction and deducts the employee’s share from his gross pay. If the individual is self-employed, they basically have to cover the employer’s and the employee’s share, however different contribution rates may be applicable.

Consumption taxes

Value-added tax (VAT)

As a matter of principle, proceeds of sales and services conducted in Switzerland are subject to the general Swiss VAT rate of 7.7% since 1 January 2018. However, goods for basic needs are subject to VAT at the rate of 2.5%, and services in connection with the provision of lodging are subject to VAT at the rate of 3.7% since 1 January 2018. A registered taxpayer generally is entitled to offset the amount of VAT charged by suppliers or paid on imports against the VAT payable.

Net wealth tax 

All cantons levy a net wealth tax based on the balance of the worldwide gross assets minus debts. Some cantons may allow additional social deductions. Reportable assets are as follows:

  • Bank account balances, bonds, shares, funds and other equities.
  • Life insurances with a surrender value.
  • Cars, boats, airplanes, etc.
  • Properties/real estate.
  • Other valuable assets, e.g. paintings, art collections, jewellery, etc. 

The fair market value of the assets is subject to taxation; consequently, some assets are subject to depreciation, which is considered for wealth tax purposes but cannot be claimed as a deduction for income tax purposes. Leased assets are not considered for wealth taxation. Movable assets are deemed to be located in Switzerland and therefore subject to wealth taxation in Switzerland. Properties abroad are only considered for tax rate determining purposes, but are exempted from actual taxation in Switzerland. 

Worldwide debts (e.g. mortgages or other loans) are deductible with no applicable cap. If assets are located abroad, the total debts are subject to an international allocation in accordance with the allocation of the total gross assets. 

Household goods are not subject to wealth taxation.

Zurich

I - Single taxpayers (wealth taxes) 

Taxable wealth (CHF) Basic tax on column 1 (CHF) Percentage on excess (%)
Over Not over
0 77,000 - 0.00
77,000 308,000 - 0.05
308,000 694,000 116 0.10
694,000 1,310,000 502 0.15
1,310,000 2,235,000 1,426 0.20
2,235,000 3,158,000 3,276 0.25
3,158,000   5,584 0.30

II - Married taxpayers and single taxpayers with minor children (wealth taxes)

Taxable wealth (CHF) Basic tax on column 1 (CHF) Percentage on excess (%)
Over Not over
0 154,000 - 0.00
154,000 385,000 - 0.05
385,000 770,000 116 0.10
770,000 1,386,000 501 0.15
1,386,000 2,311,000 1,425 0.20
2,311,000 3,235,000 3,275 0.25
3,235,000   5,585 0.30

For Zurich cantonal taxes, the above rates can be applied directly. For the additional municipal taxes, the above rate has to be multiplied by the respective municipal tax factor, which varies between 0.76 and 1.34 (City of Zurich: 1.19). For church tax the basic tax above is multiplied by the church tax factor, which is between 0.06 and 0.15.

Geneva

I - Wealth tax

A deduction of CHF 82,040 per adult and CHF 41,020 per child is made from the individual’s net wealth. The net wealth is divided into bands and taxed as follows:

Taxable wealth (CHF) Tax rate applicable
to the band (%)
Maximum tax
for the band
(CHF)
Total tax
(CHF)
Over Not over
0 112,138 0.175 196.05 196.05
112,138 224,276 0.225 252.05 448.10
224,276 336,414 0.275 308.10 756.20
336,414 448,551 0.300 336.10 1,092.30
448,551 672,828 0.325 728.20 1,820.50
672,828 897,103 0.350 784.20 2,604.70
897,103 1,121,379 0.375 840.25 3,444.95
1,121,379 1,345,654 0.400 896.25 4,341.20
1,345,654 1,682,068 0.425 1,428.40 5,769.60
1,682,068   0.450 - -

II - Supplementary tax on basic wealth tax

Taxable wealth (CHF) Tax rate applicable
to the band (%)
Maximum tax
for the band
(CHF)
Total tax
(CHF)
Over Not over
0 112,138 0 0.00 0.00
112,138 224,276 0.01125 12.60 12.60
224,276 336,414 0.01375 15.40 28.00
336,414 448,551 0.03000 33.60 61.60
448,551 672,828 0.03250 72.80 134.40
672,828 897,103 0.05250 117.65 252.05
897,103 1,121,379 0.05625 126.05 378.10
1,121,379 1,345,654 0.08000 179.25 557.35
1,345,654 1,682,068 0.08500 285.70 843.05
1,682,068 3,364,137 0.11250 1,890.50 2,733.55
3,364,137   0.13500 - -

The above tax rates are basically applicable to taxpayers filing a tax return. Effective cantonal income and wealth tax is determined by multiplying the basic tax by the multiplier applicable for the tax (calendar) year in question, and then by adding the supplementary tax on wealth. 

Inheritance and gift taxes

With the exception of one canton (i.e. Schwyz), all cantons levy inheritance and gift taxes if the deceased or donor had been resident of the respective canton, or if real estate located in the canton is transferred. In all cantons, spouses are exempt from inheritance and gift taxes, and most cantons also exempt direct descendants. The tax rate is progressive and is in most cases multiplied by a factor depending on the relationship between the deceased and the recipient. Switzerland has concluded a small number of tax treaties concerning inheritance taxes, but gift taxes are not covered by any tax treaty.

Property taxes

Some cantons levy a tax just on the holding of real estate. The tax rates and how this tax is calculated vary from canton to canton. 

Excise taxes, turnover taxes, registration taxes, custom duties 

At the federal level, the import of goods will be subject to custom duties based on weight and/or value and depending on the type of good as well as its origin.

In addition, the cantons and municipalities levy a number of excise taxes, such as road taxes, registration taxes, fire brigade taxes etc. These are usually smaller amounts and vary often by municipality.

Other non-income taxes 

Stamp taxes

Stamp duties are levied on certain transactions i.e. on the issue of Swiss securities, on security transactions in Switzerland, and on certain insurance (mainly liability and household insurance). The stamp taxes are levied by the broker or the insurance company and are in the end paid by the client. Rates are 0.15% for Swiss security transaction, 0.30% for foreign security transactions and normally 5% for insurance.

Transfer taxes

The transfer of real estate is taxed in most cantons. This tax is levied separately from a possible capital gains tax on the sale of the real estate. There is no corresponding tax at the federal level.

Treatment of foreign owned real estate 

Real estate located abroad needs to be included in the Swiss tax return for tax rate determining purposes, but any income out of it (actual or deemed rental income) will not actually be taxed in Switzerland.

Church tax

Almost all cantons levy a church tax for registered members of one of the respective official religious affiliations. The determination of the religious affiliation is part of registration process with the municipal authorities. Individuals without religious denomination or members of other than the official Swiss churches (e.g. Muslims, Jews, Anglo-Saxon church members) are not subject to cantonal church tax.


Last Reviewed - 28 July 2019

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