Mandatory Swiss VAT return e-filing in 2020

All VAT returns must be submitted electronically in Switzerland as from January 2020.

Switzerland was one of the last countries allowing paper filing. Once the rule across Europe, paper returns are now a small exception in the European VAT compliance world. Switzerland was one of the few countries still allowing these paper filings via pre-printed VAT returns. Pre-printed forms means that you would receive a form sent by the tax authorities to your address, complete the boxes with your transaction data, and send back the form to the Swiss authorities. The system of pre-printed forms also exists in Sweden, where it remains an alternative for non-established companies willing to handle their returns in-house (otherwise, they need a Swedish ID).

As from January 2020, a new platform will be available to  submit Swiss VAT returns online. The new online portal will allow taxpayers to keep a database of all VAT returns submitted. It will also allow to allocate user rights that can individually access the platform. Tax authorities have not provided details on this change, but we expect that the last paper VAT return accepted will be the fourth quarter 2019 VAT return.

At the moment, more that 50% of Swiss VAT registered companies submit their returns on paper, so the new platform will have a big impact on most taxpayers currently registered in Switzerland.

What action should I take?

This is an important change for all businesses registered in Switzerland. You should register online in the dedicated website of the Swiss tax authorities and make sure that your access is up and running before the 2020 deadline. Please contact Marosa if you want to know more about how to register in the new online VAT return platform.

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