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Taxes in Switzerland

A stamper of the tax administration
Christian Beutler/Keystone

Switzerland levies taxes at the federal, cantonal and local levels, with cantons setting their own rates. Taxes generally tend to be lower than in much of Europe.

In most cases, personal income tax is not automatically withheld from employees’ pay checks but is calculated and paid to the tax authorities once a year.

Tax is deducted directly from income (“at source”) only for foreign workers who are residents in Switzerland and earn less than CHF120,000 ($122,600) a year and for people who are residents abroad and earn income from an activity carried out in Switzerland (cross-border commuters).


Swiss citizens and foreigners with a C permit must complete a tax declaration form each year, which the tax authorities use to assess how much they must pay in income tax. The amount due is based on the amount earned as well as assets, but also on the composition of the household and any valid deductions.

Taxes in Switzerland can be divided into three major categories: direct federal tax, cantonal tax and municipal tax. The overall burden can vary greatly depending upon which canton and municipality you live in. Wealth tax is, generally speaking, relatively low.


Taxation evolves over time and Swiss citizens are regularly called upon to vote on tax rates and scales at the federal, cantonal and local levels.

For more information on taxation in Switzerland, see:

Official government site ch.chExternal link

Tax calculator from the Federal Tax AdministrationExternal link

Brochure on the Swiss Tax System in different languagesExternal link

Tax Burden in International ComparisonExternal link

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR