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When to lodge your tax return in Switzerland – and how to get an extension

When to lodge your tax return in Switzerland - and how to get an extension
You can request tax extension from your canton. Photo by Claudio Schwartz / Unsplash
In some cantons the deadline for filing taxes was on March 15th. In others, it is March 31st. What can you do if you are late?

If your tax return is prepared by an accounting firm, they automatically file every year for extension for all their clients.

You should have received a confirmation letter or email from the firm to that effect.

But if you prepare your tax declaration yourself and you won’t be able to meet the deadline, you must ask the tax authorities in your canton of residence for extension.

These requests are almost always granted.

While in some places you will have to submit the request in writing, in most cases you can do so online.

How do you go about it?

This website has a window where you can insert your postal code. It then leads you to a cantonal site where there is a link which you can click to see how you can submit your request and what information you need to supply.

Each canton has its own rules, but in most cases you will have to include the bar code included with the tax paperwork your canton sent you.

Again, depending on your canton of residence, the extension will be given until May 31st, June 30th, or July 31st.

Here’s the list.

May 31st: Appenzell-Ausserrhoden, Basel-City, Geneva, Luzern, Schwyz, St. Gallen, Uri, Valais, and Zurich.

June 30th: Aargau, Basel-Country, Fribourg, Nidwalden, Schaffhausen, Ticino, Vaud, and Zug.

July 31st: Jura and Solothurn.

Only one canton, Bern, allows extensions until September 15th.

To date no general extension has been announced by Graubünden, Neuchâtel, Appenzell-Innerrhoden, Thurgau, Glarus, and Obwalden.

You can contact these cantons directly.

Keep in mind that these rules apply only to permanent residents.

Non-residents and cross-border workers have their taxes deducted directly from their payroll each month, a system called taxation at source, or withholding tax.

READ MORE: Tax rules cross-border workers in Switzerland need to know


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