Switzerland

Overview

Last reviewed - 09 July 2020

Switzerland is located in the heart of Europe between the Alps and the Jura mountains, where it is bordered by Germany to the north, France to the west, Italy to the south, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Because of this central location, Switzerland offers a great variety in cultures and languages. The capital of Switzerland is Bern, and the official currency is the Swiss franc (CHF). The official languages of Switzerland are German, French, Italian, and Rhaeto-Romanic. Its liberal economic system, political stability, and its close integration with the economies of other countries make it an attractive business location.

Switzerland has a federalist structure and is divided into three political levels: federal, cantonal, and municipal (also referred to as communal level). The country consists of 26 cantons, which are sovereign insofar as their sovereignty is not limited by the federal constitution. The Federal Assembly, also called parliament, consists of two chambers: the National Council, which represents the 'sovereigns' (the Swiss people), and the Council of States, which represents the 26 cantons. The federal government is known as the Federal Council. It consists of seven members (the heads of respective departments) and operates as a collegial body.

In 1961, Switzerland signed the Convention on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Since 2002, Switzerland has been a member of the United Nations (UN), which has its office in Geneva, and it also plays an important role in UN's specialised and important economic organisations. Further, since 1960, Switzerland has been a member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). Switzerland, however, is not a member of the European Union (EU).

Switzerland is a prosperous, modern, and liberal market economy with low unemployment, a highly skilled labour force, and a per capita gross domestic product (GDP) that is among the highest in the world. Switzerland's economy benefits from a highly developed service sector, led by financial services; a strong manufacturing industry that specialises in high-technology and knowledge-based production; and a well-established pharmaceutical and chemical industry. In recent years, Switzerland brought its economic practices largely into conformity with the European Union in order to enhance its international competitiveness. In 2009, Switzerland agreed to conform to OECD regulations on administrative assistance in tax matters, including tax evasion. Consequently, the government has renegotiated its double tax treaties (DTTs) with numerous countries.

PwC Switzerland assists organisations and individuals to create the value they are looking for, serving them with over 3,000 employees and partners working in 14 different offices throughout Switzerland. PwC Switzerland provides assurance, tax and legal, and advisory services to clients in a broad range of industry sectors.

Quick rates and dates

Corporate income tax (CIT) rates
Headline CIT rate (%)

Federal CIT: 8.5% on profit after tax (7.83% on profit before tax). Cantonal and communal CITs are added to federal CIT, resulting in an overall effective tax rate between 11.9% and 21.6%, depending on the company’s location of corporate residence in Switzerland.

Corporate income tax (CIT) due dates
CIT return due date

The due date varies from canton to canton (usually between six and nine months after the close of the business year).

CIT final payment due date

The due date varies from canton to canton.

CIT estimated payment due dates

Federal CIT is usually due by 31 March of the following tax period. At the cantonal level, the due dates vary from canton to canton.

Personal income tax (PIT) rates
Headline PIT rate (%)

Federal: 11.5;

Cantonal and communal PIT rate varies per canton and is added to the federal PIT rate, resulting in an overall PIT rate between 22.5% and 45%.

Personal income tax (PIT) due dates
PIT return due date

Generally 31 March, but may vary per canton.

PIT final payment due date

30 days after final invoice

PIT estimated payment due dates

Federal: 31 March of the following tax period;

At cantonal level: Due date varies per canton.

Value-added tax (VAT) rates
Standard VAT rate (%)

7.7

Withholding tax (WHT) rates
WHT rates (%) (Div/Int/Roy)

Resident: Between 0 and 35 / 0 / 0;

Non-resident: Between 0 and 35 / Between 0 and 35 / 0

Capital gains tax (CGT) rates
Corporate capital gains tax rate (%)

Overall an effective tax rate between 11.9% and 21.6% depending on the company's location of corporate residence in Switzerland applies. Exceptions to be considered relate to the participation relief and capital gains on real estate.

Individual capital gains tax rate (%)

Movable assets: Exempt;

Non-movable assets: Exempt for federal tax, and cantonal tax rate varies per canton

Net wealth/worth tax rates
Headline net wealth/worth tax rate (%)

Federal: Exempt;

Cantonal and communal personal net wealth tax rate varies per canton, resulting in an overall personal net wealth tax rate between 0.15% and 1.01%.

Inheritance and gift tax rates
Inheritance tax rate (%)

Federal: Exempt;

Spouse: Exempt;

Direct descendants: Exempt in most cantons.

Others: Depending on relationship to deceased and varies per canton.

Gift tax rate (%)

Federal: Exempt;

Spouse: Exempt;

Direct descendants: Exempt in most cantons.

Others: Varies per canton.

NA stands for Not Applicable (i.e. the territory does not have the indicated tax or requirement)

NP stands for Not Provided (i.e. the information is not currently provided in this chart)

All information in this chart is up to date as of the 'Last reviewed' date on the corresponding territory Overview page. This chart has been prepared for general guidance on matters of interest only, and does not constitute professional advice. You should not act upon the information contained in this chart without obtaining specific professional advice. No representation or warranty (express or implied) is given as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this chart, and, to the extent permitted by law, PwC does not accept or assume any liability, responsibility or duty of care for any consequences of you or anyone else acting, or refraining to act, in reliance on the information contained in this chart or for any decision based on it.