Swiss VAT rates reduction since 2018
Switzerland planes VAT rates reduction as from 1 January 2018.
Current VAT rates are based on a temporary regime that ends on 31 December 2017, when the new reduced rates will apply.
These rates are expected to be reduced as follows:
- Standard VAT rate will be reduced from 8% to 7.7%
- VAT rate on accommodation will be reduced from 3.8% to 3.7%
- Reduced VAT rates applicable on foodstuff, water and other basic supplies will remain at 2.5%
These changes may be overturned in the last week of September by a popular vote.
Switzerland has a unique VAT rate structure in Europe. Swiss standard VAT rates are low but the basket of goods subject to reduced rates is also narrow. On the contrary, countries like France or UK have multiple items subject to reduced or 0% VAT rate combined with a relatively high standard rate. The European Commission published a detailed study on the effects of moving from the current rate structure in most EU countries to a rate structure similar to the Swiss model.