Withholding tax

Applying the law the right way

Employers in Switzerland have had to become increasingly flexible in terms of managing the resources and technical experts for their companies. We support you in mastering these challenges and provide you with all the relevant documentation and information.

Our services around withholding tax

  • Assessing your current situation and reviewing available information
  • Support in determining the correct withholding tax rate and tax calculations
  • Providing continuous updates regarding withholding tax developments in the individual cantons
  • Preparing information for employees
  • Running individual workshops on HR/payroll in your offices
  • Reviewing your processes and payroll accounting and supporting you in any optimisation measures undertaken as a result of our review

New withholding tax regulations from 2021

The changes to the withholding tax revision affect most companies. We will show you what it is all about and how you can prepare yourself optimally.

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Information and documentation on withholding tax

Documents and information on the ELM salary standard project

Withholding tax: Addresses of cantonal authorities, comission rates and tariff D

Legal basis – Federal

Ordinance on withholding tax

Circular letter of the Federal Tax Administration

Dispatch regarding the Federal law on the revision of withholding tax on income

On 15 December 2016, Parliament passed the Federal Act on the Revision of the Withholding Taxation of Income from Employment. The Federal Council's enactment decision was published on 12 June 2019. It is expected that the law will enter into force on 1 January 2020 or one year later. A corresponding total revision of the Withholding Tax Ordinance was submitted for consultation on 21 September 2017. 

From an employer's point of view, the Federal Act also contains some innovations:

  • Further reduction of the purchase commission to 1% up to 2%
  • Invoicing only possible with the responsible cantons
  • Uniform definition of withholding tax calculation within cantons with monthly or annual equalization (circular letters are in progress)
  • Subsequent ordinary investment is possible for all residents in Switzerland regardless of income limits. In the case of domicile or residence in Switzerland, retrospective regular assessment is mandatory from the income level to be determined. The proposal for a regulation provides for CHF 120,000
  • Quasi residents (residence abroad, most of the income - as defined in the proposal for a regulation - is earned in Switzerland) can also apply for and submit a retrospective ordinary assessment
  • No more withholding tax rate adjustment procedures and no more supplementary assessments for withholding tax liable persons
  • The canton of residence at the end of the year or tax liability is responsible for the entire tax period. (Cancellation of SSK circular No. 14 "Intercantonal change of domicile of persons subject to withholding tax who are subsequently assessed on a regular basis")


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Overview of legal bases in the individual cantons

Below please find the links to the guidelines and additional information of the individual cantons:

Contact our experts

Raymond Simmen

Leader Payroll & Employment Solutions Switzerland, Zurich, PwC Switzerland

+41 58 792 42 33