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Swiss Tax Relief Measures

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In line with other countries, Switzerland takes initial tax measures to help absorb some of the economic hardship that the Corona crises imposes on people and businesses. As one of the first cantons, the canton of Zurich on 20 March 2020 announced certain tax measures as part of its so-called “Corona package”. Likewise, the Federal Council has also enacted relief measures for various federal taxes entering into force as of March 2020.

In the following, we summarize these announced measures. We expect that these measures will be further extended and updated in the course of the coming weeks.

Zurich cantonal taxes

  • Filing deadline for tax returns extended

The deadline for filing the 2019 tax return has been extended to 31 May 2020 for all individual taxpayers.

  • Adjustment of provisional tax invoices

Companies that expect to incur losses due to the negative effects of the corona virus, or individuals who suffer a loss of income, may request an adjustment of their provisional tax invoice for cantonal and municipal taxes.

  • Deferred payment of taxes

Individual and corporate taxpayers who are currently unable to pay their final tax bills due to the consequences of the corona virus have the option of deferring payment or paying in installments. To make use of this option, taxpayers need to contact the municipal (regarding cantonal/municipal taxes) or cantonal (regarding federal income tax) tax administration.

  • Relief from default interest

We also expect that a relief from default interest will be granted for the period of 1 March 2020 until 31 December 2020. For the time being, such relief has not been communicated yet by the canton of Zurich.

Federal Taxes

  • Default interest suspended

For VAT, customs duties, and special excise duties, the default interest rate is reduced to 0% with immediate effect, i.e. for the period of 21 March 2020 to 31 December 2020. The same applies to the Federal Income Tax as of 1 March 2020 until 31 December 2020.

Social security contributions

  • Postponement of payment of contributions

Upon request to their competent Old-Age and Survivors’ Insurance (AHV) compensation office, companies as well as self-employed individuals may postpone their payments of social security contributions free of interest. Moreover, they have the option to reduce their recurring on-account payments for such contributions.

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