Switzerland VAT guide for digital businesses

Is your product taxable in Switzerland? Get up-to-date rates, registration thresholds, and more from Anrok’s team of tax experts.

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2024 nonresident VAT rates for Switzerland

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Rates and registration

Tax rate
CHF 100,000 (global)*

Taxable transactions

B2B sales


B2C sales


Digital products
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Table of contents

Are digital products taxable in Switzerland?

Switzerland has a value-added tax (VAT) system that applies to the sale of goods and services, including digital products sold by nonresident businesses. For nonresident businesses selling digital products to customers in Switzerland, VAT at 8.10% generally applies to business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) transactions.

Nonresident businesses must register for VAT in Switzerland once their taxable supplies in the country exceed the registration threshold of CHF 100,000 in global sales, of which at least CHF 1 is sold to a customer in Switzerland. Upon registration, nonresident businesses will be required to charge Swiss VAT on sales to Swiss customers and file periodic VAT returns. Overall, nonresident companies selling digital products to Swiss customers need to be aware of Switzerland's VAT rules and registration requirements.

Determining if your product is taxable in Switzerland

To determine whether VAT applies to the sale of your digital product or service, there are three main factors to consider:

  1. Customer's location: You need to identify the location of your customer, as tax regulations vary by country. Common pieces of evidence for customer location determination include billing address, customer account address, and credit card country.
  2. Taxability of your product: Your digital product or service needs to qualify as a digital good or service for VAT purposes. This typically means that it is delivered electronically over the Internet or an electronic network, is automated, relies on technology, and is not a physical good.
  3. Customer’s tax registration status: If you sell to other businesses located in Switzerland, you should collect and validate their tax registration numbers (tax IDs).

Getting VAT compliant in Switzerland

To ensure compliance with VAT regulations, here are the general steps that a nonresident company selling software or other digital products should take:

  1. Collect customer addresses and tax IDs: Even if you are not registered for VAT, collecting customer tax IDs can save you expenses in the future. This step can be taken right away for customers outside the US.
  2. Understand your VAT obligations: Determine where you have VAT obligations by cross-checking customer locations and the product taxability and registration thresholds in each country. Each country has its own registration threshold, which triggers the requirement to register.
  3. Monitor VAT exposure and register in exposed jurisdictions: If your sales reach the registration threshold in Switzerland, you are required to register for tax purposes. Each country has its own processes for registration.
  4. Apply VAT where necessary: Identify transactions that require tax collection and apply the correct rates to those invoices.
  5. File VAT returns, make payments, and keep records: Periodically file tax returns with the jurisdictions in which you sell, reporting the tax collected and remitted. Be prepared for foreign exchange conversions and cross-border payments in various currencies. Many countries also have a legal requirement to keep tax records for a certain period of time.

Risks of delaying compliance

Delaying tax compliance can expose your business to various risks:

  • Audits: As tax legislation for digital goods is relatively new, audits for international sellers are increasing. Facing an audit for which you are not prepared can result in fees and penalties that can significantly impact your business.
  • Paying out of pocket: Regardless of whether your customers pay tax, you are responsible for the tax on the sales you make. If you are audited or register late, you may have to pay the tax out of pocket, along with penalties and fees.
  • Reputational risk: When expanding internationally, your compliance with tax rules may be questioned by potential business partners or customers. Failure to comply with tax regulations can harm your reputation and even lead to blocked business opportunities.

To learn more about tax rules and regulations for nonresident businesses around the world, explore Anrok’s VAT index for digital products.

*Switzerland's registration threshold is CHF 100,000 in global sales, of which at least CHF 1 is to a customer in Switzerland.

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