XML upload VAT
The eCH standard eCH-0217 was developed for electronic VAT returns. It enables VAT returns to be transmitted in a uniform XML format. The specifications, including XSD, are available at www.ech.ch (direct link).
The following information complements the eCH specification and assists software manufacturers with implementation.
The XML upload in FTA SuisseTax will be available as a public beta version from April 2018.
Explanations concerning the situation
- Restriction to necessary information in the XSD: In general, only the absolutely necessary information was transferred to the XSD. Content was purged of redundancies or information that is available or calculated in FTA SuisseTax based on the taxpayer's login. Intermediate calculation steps are omitted insofar as possible, as they are a source of inconsistencies. Only the tax to be paid (number 500) or the taxpayer's credit balance (number 510) is relevant and is therefore not omitted. However, the two figures are combined in XML (management via plus or minus sign).
- Return figures: The return form figures were deliberately not included in the eCH-0217 standard, as they can change when tax rates are adjusted. The XML elements are therefore designed to be sustainable, i.e. the turnover per tax rate is always transferred using the same XML element. Consequently, if there are two identical tax rates during the limitation period (example: the reduced tax rate of 2.5% did not change on 1 January 2018 at the time of the tax rate adjustments), the breakdown between the figures cannot be carried out correctly in FTA SuisseTax. If such a case were to arise, the turnover would be allocated by default to the current tax period by FTA SuisseTax. The user then has the option of adjusting the return in FTA SuisseTax if necessary before submitting it.
- Modifiability: The data imported via XML can be changed in FTA SuisseTax before the return is submitted. Therefore, valid XML that contains technically incorrect content does not lead to an insurmountable situation.
- Order: For XML elements that contain tax rates, the order is irrelevant. This applies in particular to net tax rates.
- First submission / correction return / annual reconciliation (XML element "typeOfSubmission"): Depending on the application, the order of the actual declaration submissions cannot be controlled in practice with the accounting/ERP software. The upload function is thus set up in such a way that the first submission or correction return can be overridden after a message, i.e. an XML with an incorrect typeOfSubmission can also be uploaded (note: it is possible that this feature will not yet be active at the start). In the case of annual reconciliation, overriding is excluded because, unlike a first submission or correction return, this contains only differences by definition (see eCH-0217, section 3.1).
- Missing forms 1050/1055/1056: The forms mentioned are optional in eCH-0217, as various business software products do not keep the data. It is therefore permissible to declare only the sums in XML (Form 1050: "compensationExport"; Form 1055: "deemedInputTaxDeduction"; Form 1056: "marginTaxation"). When uploading such an XML, FTA SuisseTax reacts as follows: When importing the XML, the user receives a warning that sub-form 1050/1055/1056 is missing. The amount for the main form numbers 470 and 471 is displayed, but the field is marked as incorrect. When form 1050/1055/1056 is then completed online, the system checks whether the form matches the XML total and notifies the user of any differences. The sub-form calculation is always used and the XML value is overridden. If the user clicks on "Next" without completing the sub-form, an error is indicated.
- Calculation of the tax liability or credit balance (XML element "payableTax"): According to Article 24 of the VATA and VAT Info No. 15, the tax must be calculated based on the turnover. The tax must be calculated to two decimal places without rounding in the intermediate steps. Only at the end with the element "payableTax" (number 500/510) is there the option of rounding to 5 centimes in favour of the taxable company. Any difference between the tax account in the taxpayer's ERP system and the tax calculation must be either automated in the ERP system (following VAT return preparation) or corrected by means of manual postings (see eCH-0217, section 6.2).
- Valid tax rates: The tax rates applicable for each reporting method (effective, net tax rate and flat tax rate method) are listed below in the appendix.
- Test report and error messages: After importing eCH-0217 XML files, a test report is created and displayed. This shows all the test steps performed during the import.
- Form 1055 / Crediting of fictitious input tax to the net/flat tax rate method / XML "compilation Deemed InputTax Deduction": The occurrence of this XML element is specified with 1... n in eCH-0217. FTA SuisseTax accepts only two tax rates per tax rate period (i.e. up to 31.12.2017 and from 1.1.2018) in sub-form 1055. If an XML contains more than two tax rates, the two highest are taken when uploading to FTA SuisseTax and the rest are ignored. A warning message is issued.
- Form 1056 / Crediting of fictitious input tax to the net/flat tax rate method / XML "compilation MarginTaxation": Same as form 1055.
- Amounts: All amounts are specified with the data type "amountType" in eCH-0217. FTA SuisseTax currently has a limit of 12 (sales, services) or 11 digits before the decimal point (tax, input tax).
- Test environment: A test environment is not available at present. Since the XML upload is merely a data loader for the online form for VAT returns, incorrect XML content can still be supplemented or data can be entered manually. Software manufacturers are advised to stagger software delivery and involve pilot users, for example.
Verification of XML samples
FTA offers software manufacturers an XML sample testing service. The following terms apply in this regard:
- Software manufacturers can submit a maximum of 10 XML samples.
- The reporting periods must refer to the period from 1.7.2017 to 30.6.2018.
- XML samples must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and no reply will be given to incoming queries that do not concern XML samples.
- The FTA responds to queries as promptly as possible, but it cannot guarantee a maximum processing time for capacity reasons.
- FTA feedback is recommendatory in nature, does not claim to be complete and does not correspond to a formal release or certification.
After activation as a public beta version, the XML upload functionality will be periodically optimised to eliminate deficiencies.