Development of VAT rates

As a result of the referendum on 24 September 2017 the Pension Reform was rejected. As a consequence, the VAT rates have been adjusted as of 1 January 2018.

The Swiss Federal Constitution (art. 130 and art. 196 indent 14) itself sets forth the Swiss VAT rates. Therefore, any change in VAT rates is in need of a mandatory referendum.

From 2011 until 2017 the VAT rates were 8% (standard rate), 3,8% (special rate for accommodation) and 2,5% (reduced rate). A part of the VAT receipts (standard rate: 0,4%-points, special rate for accommodation: 0,2%-points and reduced rate: 0,1%-points) was allocated to the Disability Insurance (DI) for additional financing for a limited period of time until the end of 2017. Due to the rejection of the Pension Reform, the VAT rates have been decreased as of 1 January 2018. This also resulted in an adjustment of the net and flat tax rates.

However, by a referendum on 9 February 2014 the people and the cantons approved the increase by 0.1%-point in the three VAT rates as of 1 January 2018 to finance the further development of railways infrastructure (FERI).

The above explanations are summarized in the table below.

 

Standard rate

Special rate for accommodation services

Reduced rate

 

VAT rates up to 31.12.2017

8.0 % 

3.8 %

2.5 %

- Expiring Disability insurance supplementary financing 31.12.2017

-0.4 % 

-0.2 %

-0.1 %

+ Railways infrastructure financing VAT rate increase 01.01.2018 – 31.12.2030

0.1 % 

0.1 % 

0.1 %

VAT rates as of 01.01.2018

7.7 % 

3.7 % 

2.5 %

Development of VAT rates:

 

Standard rate

Special rate for accommodation services

Reduced rate

 

As of 1 January 2018
(VAT rate increase railways infrastructure financing)

7.7%

3.7%

2.5%

1 January 2011
VAT rate increase in favor of the Disability Insurance limited until 31 December 2017

8.0%

3.8%

2.5%

1 January 2001
Implementation of the VAT Act; VAT rate increase for the financing of the Large-Scale Railway Projects

7.6%

3.6%

2.4%

1 January 1999
VAT rate increase in favor for the Old Age and Survivors' Insurance and the Disability Insurance

7.5%

3.5%

2.3%

1 October 1996
Introduction of the special rate for accommodation services

6.5%

3.0%

2.0%

1 January 1995
VAT Ordinance

6.5%

 

2.0%

Last modification 27.02.2018

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