Foreign businesses selling online goods to private individuals in Switzerland may now have more time to register for VAT in Switzerland.
Currently businesses selling low value goods into Switzerland do not have a requirement to register for VAT in Switzerland. The threshold applied is if the applicable VAT would be in excess of CHF5 per consignment. The Swiss Authorities announced their intention to withdraw this loophole in late 2015.
However, the changes due to be enforced in respect of the Low Value Consignment Relief (LVCR) have been postponed until January 1, 2019. Consequently, companies will now become liable to register for Swiss VAT as of January 1, 2019 if their annual turnover from imported goods which benefit from the LVCR exceeds CHF 100,000. It is therefore highly recommended that long distance sellers re-evaluate their tax liability in Switzerland in June 2018 and consider the impact of the regulatory changes on their business. With respect to the remaining changes of the Swiss VAT which enter into force on January 1, 2018, please refer to our previous article on VAT consequences of doing business in Switzerland for further guidance.