The types of taxes in Switzerland
can be divided into federal taxes and cantonal and municipal taxes. In order to avoid overlapping taxation Switzerland has concluded almost 50 double taxation agreements
with other countries so that foreign investors are protected from double taxation.
1. Direct federal taxes
The direct federal taxes are as follows:
- the taxes on income: personal income tax and corporate tax;
- the withholding tax;
- the federal casino tax;
- the military and civil service exemption tax.
2. Federal taxes on goods and services
The federal taxes on goods and services are the following:
- the VAT tax
- stamp duties;
- the tobacco tax;
- the beer tax;
- the tax on distilled spirits;
- the mineral oil tax;
- the motor vehicle tax;
- the motorway vignette;
- the distance-related heavy vehicle fee;
- customs duties.
3. Direct cantonal and municipal taxes
Direct cantonal and municipal taxes in Switzerland include:
- taxes on income and on net wealth: income taxes, withholding of tax at source, expenditure based taxation, poll tax, wealth tax, corporate income tax and tax on equity;
- inheritance and gift taxes;
- lottery income tax;
- immovable property gains tax;
- real estate tax;
- real estate transfer tax;
- cantonal casino tax;
- trade tax.
4. Cantonal and municipal taxes on goods and services
Cantonal and municipal taxes on goods and services include:
- taxes on motor vehicles;
- dog taxes;
- entertainment tax;
- stamp and registration duties;
- water duty;
- lottery tax;
- visitor’s tax.
The tax period and the assessment period in Switzerland coincide and are generally the same as the calendar year (mostly for individuals).