Swiss VAT on e-services

Since 2010, the place of supply for VAT purposes of electronic supplies to Swiss consumers is Switzerland.  This means foreign providers of such supplies may have to register for Swiss VAT, charge and pay local VAT.

This includes Liechtenstein, which is in a VAT union with Switzerland.

Electronic and broadcast services liable to Swiss VAT

The services liable to Swiss VAT include:

  • Downloads or streaming music, film and games
  • Online gambling and lotteries
  • Software as a Service (SaaS) or downloadable software
  • Web hosting
  • Data, including images
  • Television and radio
  • Mobile phone and data services

Swiss e-service provider VAT registration threshold

The current VAT registration threshold for non-resident service providers is CHF 100,000 per annum. There is a proposal to change this to include all worldwide income from electronic services.

Swiss e-service provider VAT compliance

For businesses registered for VAT on e-services, the following compliance issues should be considered:

  • Foreign VAT registered businesses must appoint a local fiscal representative
  • The tax authorities may require a bank guarantee
  • B2B sales are VAT nil rated under the reverse charge rules; but the seller must attempt to verify the Swiss customer’s VAT number via the online UID register.
  • VAT returns are submitted quarterly

Need help with your Swiss VAT compliance?

Researching Swiss VAT legislation is the first step to understanding your VAT compliance needs. Avalara has a range of solutions that can help your business depending on where and how you trade.