Tax Litigation in Switzerland

Tax Litigation in Switzerland

Updated on Saturday 19th December 2015

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Tax-Litigation-in-SwitzerlandLitigation on financial matters in Switzerland

In order to understand financial litigation one must get acquainted with the Swiss Tax Code which is based on a three-tier system. The tax authorities levy taxes at federal, cantonal and municipal level which is why consultation with a Swiss law firm is usually recommendable. Given the three-layer system, tax disputes in Switzerland can involve several institutions and courts. Also, disputes are separated depending on whether the plaintiff is a natural person or a legal entity.

For complete understanding of the country’s taxation system you can refer to our attorneys in Switzerland.

Commencement of tax dispute proceedings in Switzerland

While starting litigation proceedings on taxation matters as an individual can be easier, corporate tax litigation in Switzerland is often complicated. In the case of companies starting lawsuits against the tax authorities there are several aspects to be taken into consideration. Among these are:

  • -          the reason of the lawsuit,
  • -          the Swiss court to handle the proceedings,
  • -          the type of tax the litigation refers to.

The most common tax litigation cases refer to real estate transfer and capital gains taxes in Switzerland. Disputes related to VAT payments are also very common in this country.

Lawsuits or complaints against the tax authorities can be filed within 30 days from receiving any documents the plaintiff is not satisfied with. One also has the opportunity of filing a petition for revision of the tax document within 90 days from receiving it in order to avoid litigation.

Legislation related to tax litigation in Switzerland

Swiss tax laws contain various provisions related to litigation procedures and how these must be dealt with. Among these clauses are:

  • -          the courts and tribunals enabled to handle such proceedings,
  • -          time periods related to the duration of tax litigation procedures,
  • -          penalties to be imposed,
  • -          remedies to be granted in such cases,
  • -          information on how to recover amounts of money related to these types of litigation.

Switzerland also allows tax litigation cases to be resolved through alternative disputes resolution methods, such as arbitration.

For assistance in tax dispute matters, do not hesitate to contact our Swiss lawyers.