What freelancers in Switzerland need to know about paying tax

The Local
The Local - [email protected] • 8 Mar, 2021 Updated Mon 8 Mar 2021 10:31 CEST
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Freelancers in Switzerland are not subject to any specific tax rates. Photo by Canva Studio from Pexels

Around one in four people in Switzerland are freelancers or self-employed. Here's what you need to know about tax for freelancers in Switzerland.


According to consultancy firm Deloitte, approximately 25 percent of people in Switzerland work as a freelancer. 

Here's what you need to know about tax for freelancers in Switzerland.

Is self-employment subject to a specific taxation scheme? 

No. Self-employment income is included in overall taxable income. 

Are revenues of independents subject to the compulsory old-age (AVS) contribution?  

Yes. Self-employed individuals must make social security contributions at a maximum rate of  9.7% of their income. They can contract voluntarily a pension plan (so-called second pillar) with an insurance company. 


Can independent persons set-off depreciation and amortisation costs? 

Yes. Self-employed individuals can set-off depreciation expenses related to their business assets.  This specific tax treatment can certainly not be claimed for the depreciation expenses related to private assets. 

READ MORE: How much do freelancers earn in Switzerland?

Are interests paid for business debts deductible for tax purposes? 

Interest paid by a self-employed person to a third party can be deducted from business revenues.  

As a self employed person, if my expenses are higher than my revenues, can I carry forward my  loss? 

Yes. Expenses related to a business activity can be offset from revenues as long as they are necessary and linked to the business.

Losses deriving from a business activity can be carried forward for seven years. 

Can a self-employed person offset charitable contributions? 

Charitable contributions representing up to 20 percent of the net business revenues are deductible from  income tax, provided that specific conditions are met.

In particular, the contribution is made in favour of a Swiss legal entity which is exempt from taxation as it has only charitable objectives.

This advice was prepared by Pascal de Lucia of Guggenheim & Associés SA



The Local 2021/03/08 10:31

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