If you have offshore income or assets and are not sure if you need to declare them in Switzerland, take a look below. Remember though, that the disclosure rules are the same whether your income or assets have a Swiss or foreign source.

– Swiss citizens with Swiss tax residency, foreigners married to a Swiss citizen or permanent residents (C residence permit holder) need to file a tax return each year.

– Also required to file are the holders of L or B temporary permits, not married to Swiss citizens with:

– gross income of CHF 120,000 or more; or

– additional income (i.e. income not taxed at source) of CHF 2,500 or more; or

– net wealth of more than CHF 200,000.

The rules can vary from canton to canton with some imposing different criteria.

Foreigners without any gainful activity in Switzerland who become Swiss residents for the first time, or after an absence from Switzerland of at least 10 years, can apply for a so-called lump-sum taxation in many cantons. In that case, their annual taxation is based on their assumed annual living expenses and not on their actual income and net wealth.

The filing of a Swiss tax return is also required by law if Swiss real estate is owned by foreign residents or there is self-employment or by employees with an employer not established in Switzerland.

In recent years, it is possible for individuals normally taxed exclusively at source on their employment income, to also request to file an ordinary tax return even if their gross annual income does not exceed CHF 120,000.

The tax withheld at source of those required to file a tax return is taken as a credit.


This content is for general information purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional advisors.