Changes in Swiss E-commerce VAT Rules by 2025

The Swiss VAT rules for e-commerce are changing by 2025, introducing the deemed supplier model for online platforms.

As the digital landscape continues to evolve, Switzerland is gearing up for significant amendments to its VAT system, particularly in the e-commerce area. The update of the Swiss VAT law will likely take effect on January 1, 2025. Among the changes, the spotlight is set on e-commerce regulations.

Current E-commerce Rules in Switzerland

Presently, mail-order sellers conduct transactions via electronic platforms as disclosed agents, therefore, they assume the role of suppliers even though the sale takes place through an online marketplace. A special VAT regime applies to mail-order sales of the so-called low-value consignments in Switzerland.

Foreign suppliers selling low-value consignments and reaching the annual threshold of CHF 100,000 need to VAT register in Switzerland, start importing the goods (exempt), and charge Swiss VAT on the sale to Swiss customers.

Low-value consignments are deemed to be those where the import VAT would be less than CHF 5 (i.e., depending on the VAT rate, if the goods are taxed at 8,1%, these are goods of a value up to CHF 62, whereas if the goods is subject to 2,6%, these are goods of a value up to CHF 193). Low-value consignments are exempt from import VAT.

Have a look at the E-commerce rules applicable in the EU and the deemed supplier model.

2025 Changes to E-commerce Rules in Switzerland

The revised Swiss VAT law will introduce pivotal changes in the e-commerce world, notably:

  • Introducing the deemed supplier concept: Electronic platforms facilitating goods transactions will be deemed suppliers unless specific conditions are met. These conditions range from non-involvement in ordering goods to solely processing payments, reshaping the dynamics of supply chains.
  • Obligation to Provide Information: Electronic platforms will be mandated to furnish information upon request by the Swiss Federal Tax Administration (SFTA), enhancing transparency and compliance.

You may find here the official document VAT law with changes from 2025.

Implications for E-commerce Platforms

A digital platform is defined as an electronic interface that facilitates interaction between two or more users online intending to supply goods.

By January 2025, sales of goods made via a digital platform will, if conditions are met, make the marketplace liable for VAT on that supply. This means that it is the marketplace or digital platform, and not the seller, who will collect VAT from the final client and transfer that VAT amount to the tax authority. In this case, Sellers who supply goods via a digital platform shall be liable on a subsidiary basis.

Digital platforms shall not be considered the deemed supplier if one or more of the following conditions are met:

  • The platform is neither directly nor indirectly involved in the ordering process.
  • The platform does not generate turnover directly related to the business.
  • The platform only carries out the payment processing in connection with the supply.
  • The platform only provides space for advertisements.
  • The platform only provides advertising services.
  • The platform only redirects or forwards purchasers to other electronic platforms.

The deemed supplier clause for VAT in e-commerce is already applicable in other countries, such as the EU Member States and the UK.

Have a look at the VAT rules for e-commerce in the UK.

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