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Fiscal Representative in Switzerland

Fiscal Representative in Switzerland

Foreign companies carrying out VAT-taxable supplies in Switzerland must respect specific requirements. One of them is appointing a Swiss fiscal representative. Also known as a tax agent, the person will be in charge of the relationship of the foreign entity with the local tax authorities.

Below, our Swiss company formation agents explain in detail the concept of fiscal representative.

The main responsibilities of a fiscal representative in Switzerland

According to the law, foreign companies operating through branches in Switzerland must appoint tax agents. In practice, local companies with foreign ownership, for example, also use such a service. A tax representative‘s primary duties in Switzerland are as follows:

  • establishing the tax obligation of the company;
  • representing the company for VAT registration in Switzerland;
  • representing the foreign company in the relation with the Swiss tax authority;
  • the determination of the company’s turnover for taxation purposes;
  • acting as a liaison between the foreign company and the Swiss tax authorities with respect to official documentation;
  • filing VAT declarations.
 Quick Facts  
 Requirement to appoint a Swiss fiscal representative (YES/NO)  Yes.

 Types of business required to appoint a fiscal agent in Switzerland

Non-resident companies with VAT-taxable activities in Switzerland. 

 When must the tax agent be appointed

 When the company reaches a global turnover of CHF 100,000.

 Who can act as a fiscal representative

 – accountants,

– accounting firms.

 Registration requirement for a tax agent (YES/NO)

 Yes, with the Federal Tax Authority.

 Availability of VAT registration services through a fiscal agent (YES/NO)

 Yes.

 VAT reporting services availability (YES/NO)

Yes, a fiscal representative can also handle VAT reporting requirements. 

 Availability of VAT filing services (YES/NO)

 Yes, one of the main duties of a Swiss tax agent is to file VAT returns.

Record-keeping solutions 

The fiscal agent can maintain VAT records in accordance with the Swiss legislation. 

 VAT control support (YES/NO)  Yes, a fiscal representative can also offer assistance during VAT controls performed by the tax authoritiy.
 Possibility to use a fiscal agent by domestic companies (YES/NO)

 Yes, Swiss-based companies can also use fiscal agents.

 Activities for which fiscal representation is required

 – e-commerce,

– import/export operations,

– passenger transportation,

– event organization,

– VAT-taxable services, etc.

 Special considerations about VAT in Switzerland

 Swiss VAT regulations are also available in Liechtenstein and the German city of Busingen.

 Special import considerations (if any)

 Yes, companies importing good into Switzerland must set up accounts with the Federal Customs Administration.

 Availability of fiscal representative services (YES/NO)  Yes, our accountants in Switzerland offer such a service.

Most of the responsibilities of a fiscal representative in Switzerland are connected to the value added tax, as many companies engage in cross-border commercial operations that are subject to this tax. Such an agent can also be of help when it comes to EU companies doing business in Switzerland.

We are also at your disposal with company formation services in Switzerland.

When can a company appoint a Swiss tax agent?

Foreign businesses must register for VAT and inform the Swiss tax authorities about their taxable operations as soon as their global sales reach CHF 100,000 (about EUR 93,000). Such companies that make VAT-taxable supplies of goods and services both in Switzerland and other countries will need to identify themselves for VAT purposes in Switzerland for the respective operations.

The following activities are liable for Swiss VAT:

  • online sales;
  • services related to telecommunications and electronic information delivery to users who are Swiss residents;
  • provision of services like catering, interior design, architecture, renovations, etc.;
  • passenger transportation;
  • Swiss-made product sales.

You can also get in touch with our accounting company in Switzerland for detailed information on VAT-taxable supply of goods and services.

Who can you appoint as a Swiss fiscal representative?

Any natural person or company that is an accredited accountant in Switzerland and is registered with the Federal Tax Authority can be appointed as a tax or VAT agent.

With respect to when you can appoint such an agent, even if the law requires you to name one after reaching the minimum VAT registration threshold, it is advisable to have such a representative before. This way, he/she/it can also help you register for VAT in Switzerland.

You can also rely on our local consultants to obtain the VAT number when you open a company in Switzerland.

The main advantages of a Swiss fiscal agent are:

  • effective and correct compliance of Swiss VAT responsibilities;
  • getting specific VAT guidance;
  • you can also request other tax-related services if you need to;
  • minimizing the risks of penalties for non-compliance.

You can also rely on us for fiscal representation in Switzerland.

Here is also our video on this subject:

New VAT rates in Switzerland

Please note that starting with January 1st, 2024, certain changes have been made to the VAT legislation. One of the most important covers the slight increase in the standard and two reduced rates of this tax, as follows:

  • the new standard rate is 8.1%;
  • a reduced rate for basic food products of 2.6% will be imposed starting this year;
  • the rate for accommodation services was also raised to 3.8%.

For fiscal representation services in Switzerland, please feel free to contact us.