VATLive > Blog > VAT > Switzerland imposes new VAT registration requirements on foreign companies - Avalara

Switzerland imposes new VAT registration requirements on foreign companies

  • VAT
  • 21 April 2014 | Richard Asquith

Switzerland imposes new VAT registration requirements on foreign companies

The Swiss Federal Council has published plans this week to require non-resident companies providing services in Switzerland to collect and charge Swiss VAT at 8%.

Unfair non-resident VAT competition

Whilst Switzerland closely follows the European Union VAT Directive in its own VAT regime, there are important differences. There is limited use of the VAT reverse charge mechanism for goods or services being imported. This means non-resident companies may have to register for Swiss VAT and collect the tax from its Swiss customers.

The Council wants to see improved enforcement of this requirement to provide Swiss service providers with a more realistic price comparison.

The Department of Finance will now require many foreign companies who are only providing services in Switzerland on a one-off or temporary basis to VAT register. There will be a threshold of CHF100,000 on global income to prevent some companies being burdened with admin requirements. It is estimated that this will generate CHF 10m per annum.

Otherwise, the Swiss VAT registration threshold for non-resident companies is CHF100,000 of Swiss income per annum.


VP Global Indirect Tax
Richard Asquith
VP Global Indirect Tax Richard Asquith
Richard Asquith is VP Global Indirect Tax at Avalara, helping businesses understand their compliance obligations as they grow globally. He is part of the European leadership team which this year won International Tax Review's Tax Technology Firm of the Year. Richard qualified as an accountant with KPMG in the UK, and went on to work in Hungary, Russia and France with EY.