Salary certificates and expenses regulations

Ensuring two key documents of your payroll accounting are up-to-date and in compliance with the rules.

Information and documents

The salary certificates is the key document in your payroll accounting in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. It serves as the basis for taxation of your employees. It is important you know and observe the differences between the two countries. In addition, legal requirements and complexity are increasing all the time.

For withholding tax payers, the salary certificates is also equivalent to a confirmation of the settled withholding taxes in Switzerland. As an employer, you must make these available to every person liable to withholding tax. So the challenges are manifold: you must prepare salary certificates in compliance with the rules, provide full transparency, and deliver wholly reliable information and figures on the salary certificates and the supplements to the salary certificates.

You can count on us. We support you in tax assessment, practical application questions and special cases concerning the salary certificates. Our common goal: the best solution. We are also happy to put our many years of experience to work for you, by optimizing your processes in salary administration, implementing them in your diverse software environment, and answering questions on social security, withholding taxes, employee shareholdings, permits, labour law, taxes and human resources.

Supplements to the salary certificates

If you issue employee shareholdings, you must complete a supplementary sheet to the salary certificates. This is also required by the guidelines for filling out the salary certificates. While how you present your information is not specified, the minimum content is regulated. With Version 5.0 of Swissdec’s ELM electronic payroll reporting procedure, you have to meet new requirements, specifically when you submit to ELM the supplements to the salary certificates together with the salary certificates.

Please note that additional information is required by some cantons (e.g. Vaud). Detailed explanations and examples can be found in Appendix III to Circular No. 37 «Taxation of employee shareholdings». The correct calculation internationally also warrants careful attention.

The taxation of employee shareholdings is one of our specialities. Here, we answer your questions about employee shares, employee options, restricted stock units (RSU), performance share units (PSU), phantom shares and employee share purchase programmes (ESPP). We are happy to support you with our comprehensive knowledge and useful tools. On request, we can prepare the supplements to the salary certificates in outsourcing. This means you can still process the wages yourself or have them processed by another partner.


What you can expect from us in terms of salary certificates and expense regulations

  • Help with the legal, practical and software-related reorganization or conversion of your salary and personnel administration as well as project management
  • Preparation or revision of documents for human resources and expense regulations for approval by the tax authorities
  •  Implementation of the expense regulations in practice
  • Discussions and practical assistance with employee shareholdings
  • Preparation of supplementary sheets to the salary certificates, regardless of whether you process payroll accounting yourself or through a third party
  •  Implementation of ELM 5.0 from Swissdec in your payroll accounting

Talk to a consultant

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Documents supporting the salary certificate Switzerland

Software for the creation of salary certificates

Detailed guidelines for completing the salary certificate published by the Swiss tax conference (SSK Schweizerische Steuerkonferenz) and the Federal tax authorities (ESTV):

Sample expenses regulations of the Swiss Tax Conference for companies and not-for-profit organisations (NPOs):

Documents supporting the salary certificate Principality of Liechtenstein

Detailed guidelines for completing the salary certificate published for the Principality of Liechtenstein

Contact our experts

Raymond Simmen

Leader Payroll & Employment Solutions Switzerland, Zurich, PwC Switzerland

+41 58 792 42 33

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