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VAT refund in Switzerland : non-registered foreign companies

Swiss VAT reclaim

Foreign companies can recover the Swiss VAT incurred on their business expenses in Switzerland.

In absence of the Swiss VAT registration, the VAT reclaim can be done on a yearly basis, within 6 months following the year of expense.

Thus, the Swiss VAT paid by non-registered foreign companies on their 2023 business expenses can be claimed back in front of the Federal Tax Administration by June 30, 2024.

Swiss VAT refund conditions

No-resident companies with a valid VAT registration in Switzerland can deduct the input VAT in their periodical VAT returns in Switzerland.

In absence of the Swiss VAT registration, the VAT refund can be granted to non-resident companies under certain conditions:

  • absence of fixed establishment, place of business or domicile in Switzerland
  • absence of taxable operations and of VAT obligations in Switzerland
  • valid tax registration in the country of establishment
  • reciprocity agreement with the country of establishment
  • appointment of Swiss-established tax representative

According to the revised VAT ACT, the last condition of the mandatory tax representation could be removed in 2025 if the non-resident company can provide other guarantees.  

Refundable expenses

Swiss VAT is deductible on all categories of expenses.

The VAT refund can be restricted, totally or partially, for following expenses:

  • expenses not allocated to business operations
  • expenses incurred for exempted business operations
  • expenses not subject to Swiss VAT
  • expenses without a compliant original invoice or payment proof
  • expenses not (fully) refundable by the country of establishment of the claimant

Swiss VAT refund procedure

Frequency: One VAT reclaim per expense year is accepted by the FTA.

Minimum amount: The minimum amount of the VAT reclaim is of 500 CHF.

Deadline: The VAT refund application for the past year shall be filed by June 30 of the following year.

Filing: The filing must be done by post, by the Swiss-established tax representative.

VAT refund claim: The Swiss VAT refund claim must include:

  • VAT refund application (form 1222)
  • invoice summary (form 1223)
  • power of attorney for the Swiss tax representative
  • original tax certificate
  • original invoices and/or customs clearance forms

Swiss VAT rates

According to the federal decree of 17 December 2021 on the additional financing of the OASI (old age and survivors’ insurance), the Swiss VAT rates increased in January 2024. They could experience a new increase in 2026, for funding the state pensions.

2023 VAT rates

  • Standard rate 7,7%
  • Reduced rate 2,5
  • Special rate for accommodation services 3,7%

2024 VAT Rates

  • Standard rate 8,1%
  • Reduced rate 2,6%
  • Special rate for accommodation services 3,8%


BtoBnice will be happy to accompany your company in VAT reclaim in Switzerland.

We are completing:

  • analyses of your company’s eligibility for VAT recovery purposes in Switzerland
  • selection of eligible invoices and verification of their Swiss VAT compliance
  • assembly of the Swiss VAT reclaim file
  • filing the VAT reclaim in front of the FTA through our Swiss partner
  • monitoring and follow-up of the Swiss VAT reclaim until its refund by the FTA

For more information, feel free to contact our VAT expert:

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