Switzerland Crypto Tax


Switzerland is home to the famous Crypto Valley, which is gradually becoming a global hub for future-oriented DLT business technologies. Crypto companies are attracted by a positive government approach, advanced and favorable legislation, as well as a fair and effective taxation system.

Another notable advantage is that Switzerland has concluded double taxation agreements with about 100 countries, allowing taxpayers to protect their tax revenues in two different countries. Moreover, they can also eliminate double taxation of wealth, inheritance and, in some cases, allow taxpayers to reduce import taxes.

Taxation in Switzerland is generally administered by the Federal Tax Office (FTA), the cantons and the municipalities. Each canton has a different tax framework, which means that tax rates will vary depending on the location you choose for your crypto company. However, in terms of timing, they remain almost unchanged – the tax year corresponds to the calendar year throughout Switzerland, and most cantons require that tax returns be submitted by 31 March.

For tax purposes, the FTA classifies cryptocurrencies as assets rather than fiat money, making them similar to financial securities (e.g. equities or bonds).

Based on the guidance from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), the FTA distinguishes the following categories of cryptocurrencies:

  • Native tokens such as Ether and Bitcoin (used as a method of electronic payment)
  • Asset-backed tokens (issued during the initial offering stage to raise funds and grant rights (e.g. voting) to the holder as per the issuer’s contractual obligations) and their subcategories
    • Debt tokens obligating the issuer to repay all or part of the investment and pay interests
    • Equity tokens don’t obligate the issuer to repay the investment but the holder is entitled to a cash payment which is measured by a certain ratio to profit and/or liquidation result
    • Participation tokens don’t obligate the issuer to repay the investment but the holder is entitled to a proportional share of a certain reference value of the issuer (e.g. sales)
  • Utility tokens (instead of granting pecuniary rights to the holder in the case of the issuer’s corporate success, they grant the holder the right to use digital services, which are mostly provided on a specific DLT platform)

Companies engaging in the activities related to the above-mentioned crypto categories might be subject to the following taxes applied at the federal, cantonal or communal levels:

  • Corporate Income Tax – 12%-21%
  • Capital Gains Tax (CGT) – 0,001%-0,5%
  • Value Added Tax (VAT) – 7,7%
  • Withholding Tax (WHT) – 35%
  • Social Security Contributions – 0,5%-5,3%
  • Issuance Stamp Duty – 1%

While federal tax rates are stable, cantonal tax rates are determined annually and can be accessed on each canton’s official website.

Some of the latest crypto taxation guidelines for the most common transactions of native tokens, debt tokens, utility tokens and asset-backed tokens can be found in the working paper titled Cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin/Token Offerings (ICOs/ITOs) as Subject to Wealth, Income and Capital Gains Tax, Withholding Tax and Stamp Duty, published in 2021 by the FTA.

Switzerland crypto tax

Corporate Income Tax

Based on the Swiss taxation framework, the Corporate Income Tax consists of the following parts:

  • Federal Corporate Income Tax
  • Cantonal Corporate Income Tax
  • Communal Corporate Income Tax

Federal corporate income tax is levied at 8.5% of net profit. The cantonal corporate income tax and the communal corporate income tax are very different in each canton as they all have different tax systems. If you want to understand which Swiss location is most favourable for your crypto business, the team of the Regulated United Europe (RUE) will be happy to provide personalized advice.

The FTA working paper highlights the following aspects of income tax related to the tax treatment of indigenous tokens:

  • Simply storing tokens purchased through cryptographic exchanges in the form of purely digital means of payment normally does not generate any income or income that is taxable
  • Capital gains from token sales are considered commercial and taxable
  • Loss to be deducted from tax upon submission
  • If a mining service or riveting of native tokens is compensated with native tokens, it is considered a source of income and is therefore taxed
  • Direct income costs required in the context of asset management can be deducted from income
  • Transaction costs directly related to acquisition, transfer or sale of assets are not deductible

Tax treatment of equity tokens:

  • Funds raised by issuing equity tokens are considered taxable income and must be recorded as income in the issuer’s income statement
  • If the issuer has made a contractual commitment to complete a particular project, the activity may be declared as an expense, thus reducing the taxable income
  • Payments to token holders based on their entitlement to a certain share of profits and/or liquidation shall be considered tax-free expenses, provided that the holders are specified at the time of payment, that the issuer’s shareholders do not have more than 50% of the issued tokens and that the payments to the holders of the tokens do not exceed 50% of the profit up to interest and taxes

These are just a few examples of the Swiss taxation system. If you are looking for exhaustive tax advice on any of the categories of cryptocurrencies, feel free to contact us, and we will send you an individual offer.


Value Added Tax

Transactions, including exchange, of native tokens aren’t subject to VAT as this category of cryptocurrencies qualify as a means of payment and can be treated as fiat money. Any commissions or fees charged in connection with this sort of transaction are considered fees for financial services, which are VAT exempt without credit.

However, transactions of other categories of cryptocurrencies might be subject to VAT due to their different functionalities and purpose of use (e.g. provision of a particular service).

Issuance Stamp Duty

In many cases, cryptocurrencies (such as native tokens, debt and equity tokens) are exempt from the Brand Issue Fee, but some categories of cryptocurrencies and specific events may bear tax fees.

For example, if a securities dealer in Switzerland, as defined in the Stamp Duty Act, is a party or acts as an intermediary, secondary market transactions in debt tokens may be subject to a transfer tax (up to 0.15%).


Tax Rates in the Crypto Valley

The Crypto Valley, probably the largest and the most mature DLT ecosystem, is based in the canton of Zug which boasts attractive tax rates and has a positive stance towards the cryptocurrency-related businesses which is demonstrated through the effective regulatory framework.

Crypto companies planning to operate in the Crypto Valley should take note of the following aspects:

  • VAT isn’t levied on transactions of native tokens (e.g. Bitcoin)
  • Corporate Income Tax is proportional (up to 15.1%)
  • Salaries paid in cryptocurrency are subject to the Income Tax (approx. 23%) which must be reflected in the salary statement
  • Taxes can be paid in cryptocurrency

In conclusion, although the Swiss jurisdiction is among the most favourable for crypro businesses, navigating its taxation framework might feel like wandering through a maze. If you’re determined to succeed but aren’t sure where to start, highly qualified and experienced consultants of Regulated United Europe (RUE) will be pleased to assist you.

We very well understand and closely monitor crypto-specific Swiss taxation rules and thus can guide you through the peculiarities. Moreover, we’re more than happy to assist you with the company formation, crypto licensing in Switzerlandcrypto regulations in Switzerland and accounting. Book a personalised consultation now.

Crypto Taxes in Switzerland in 2023

In 2023, Switzerland remains one of the most welcoming countries for crypto businesses that can have plenty of flexibility related to standard tax rates, allowances, and exemptions. Cryptocurrencies are still considered private assets (in the same category as bonds and stocks) and not legal tender, except for VAT purposes where they’re treated as alternative means of payment. While cantonal and communal tax rates have changed to some extent, the federal taxes largely remain the same.

Corporate Income Tax

Although at the federal level the Corporate Income Tax is, as usual, imposed at the flat rate of 8.5%, it can easily reach 12-21% when you sum up communal and cantonal taxes. Lower corporate taxes are imposed in the canton of Zug, home to Crypto Valley, which has a tax rate of 11.9%, and cantons of Nidwalden and Lucerne where the rates are 12% and 12.2% respectively.

However, in many cases, it’s still not levied on particular crypto-related activities. For instance, the holding of native tokens acquired through crypto exchanges in the form of digital means of payment doesn’t generate any taxable income. But if mining or staking of native tokens is compensated with native tokens, it’s already considered a source of income that’s subject to tax.

Net Wealth Tax

The Net Wealth Tax remains one of the most common cantonal taxes levied on cryptocurrencies, which are taxed based on their market value. Every canton applies a local rate and has its own system of collecting the tax, which is why it differs between cantons significantly. For example, Zurich continues to collect the tax in accordance with the type of residence permit, marital status, and annual income that determines the tax band. Single taxpayers aren’t subject to paying the tax if their annual income doesn’t exceed 77,000 CHF (approx. 77,800 EUR) but can be required to pay as much as 5,584 CHF (approx. 5,640 EUR) if their annual income is over 3,158,000 CHF (approx. 3,191,000 EUR). The thresholds are slightly higher for married people.

Capital Gains Tax

The rate of the federal Capital Gains Tax is up to 7.8% and applies to self-employed crypto traders and businesses for whom the tax is levied on profits from selling or trading crypto. Private investors don’t have to pay the tax for their personal wealth assets.

An individual is categorised as a private investor if:

  • They’ve held their crypto assets for at least six months
  • Their trading turnover is five times smaller than their holding at the beginning of the financial year
  • Their net capital gain is smaller than 50% of the total income throughout the financial year
  • There’s no debt financing
  • The derivatives are used only for hedging

Value Added Tax (VAT)

Throughout the year 2023, the standard rate of 7.7% will apply. However, since for VAT purposes transactions of native tokens are treated as a means of payment, such activities as crypto exchange are VAT-exempt. Also, all commissions or fees charged for cryptocurrency transactions are classified as fees for financial services, which are also VAT-exempt. On the other hand, transactions of other cryptocurrency categories can be subject to VAT if their purpose of use is considered a sale of a taxable product or a service.

Issuance Stamp Duty

The rate of the Issuance Stamp Tax (or Capital Duty) remains imposed at a rate of 1% of the market value of the capital contribution. An exemption applies to the first 1 mill. CHF (approx. 1,01 mill. EUR) of equity in exchange for ownership rights, whether made in an initial or subsequent contribution.

Securities Transfer Tax

Native tokens, debt, and equity tokens remain tax-exempt, but if, for example, a securities dealer, as defined in the Stamp Duty Act, is a party or acts as an intermediary, secondary market dealings in debt tokens can be subject to the Securities Transfer Tax of up to 0.15%.

Since cantonal as well as communal tax rates vary pretty widely, and are determined and published on the cantonal websites annually, we highly recommend booking a personalised consultation with us to do a deep dive into the taxation system of the canton you’re interested in.

New Global Tax Transparency Framework

Since Switzerland is a member of the ​​Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), it’s obligated to transpose the organisation’s recommendations and policies into Swiss legislation. The OECD has recently introduced a new international tax transparency framework, entitled Crypto-Asset Reporting Framework (CARF), which should ultimately raise crypto taxation and tax reporting standards by eliminating crypto-related tax inconsistencies and administrative siloes across its member countries. In response to the rapid adoption of cryptocurrencies, the OECD is essentially proposing automatic tax reporting and taxpayer information sharing between international authorities.

The CARF standards will apply to companies and individuals that provide services related to crypto-to-crypto, crypto-to-fiat-money, and fiat-money-to-crypto exchange transactions for or on behalf of customers, cryptocurrency transfers (including retail payment transactions) and it may soon apply to online and offline crypto wallets. Every liable person will be required to report tax-related information to the relevant national authorities, who’ll then exchange the information on crypto transactions and taxpayers with foreign tax authorities. These rules exclude cryptocurrencies that aren’t used as a means of payment or as an investment, as well as centralised stablecoins.


  • Is Switzerland a good place to start a cryptocurrency business?
    A global hub for future-oriented DLT business technologies is emerging in Switzerland, which is home to the famous Crypto Valley. Positive government policies, favorable legislation, and a fair and effective taxation system attract crypto companies. Swiss taxpayers can also protect their tax revenues in two countries because Switzerland has double taxation agreements with around 100 countries. Also, they can reduce import taxes in some cases and eliminate double taxation on wealth, inheritance, and inheritance. .
  • In Switzerland, who is responsible for taxation?
    It is generally the Federal Tax Office (FTA), the cantons, and municipalities that administer Swiss taxation. You will find different tax rates depending on the location you choose for your crypto company, since each canton has a different tax framework. Timing, however, remains almost unchanged - in Switzerland, tax returns must be submitted before 31 March, and the tax year corresponds to the calendar year. In terms of taxation, cryptocurrencies are treated as assets rather than fiat money, making them similar to financial securities (e.g. equities or bonds).
  • How can cryptocurrencies be classified?

    In accordance with FINMA guidance, the FTA categorizes cryptocurrencies into the following categories:

    • A native cryptocurrency such as Ether or Bitcoin (used for electronic payments)
    • In addition to asset-backed tokens, there are subcategories of asset-backed tokens (used for raising funds and granting rights to holders, such as voting)
      • Tokens that require a repayment of the investment and interest payments from the issuer
      • Holders of equity tokens are entitled to receive a cash payment based on a certain ratio to profit or liquidation result, but the issuer is not obligated to repay their investment
      • Holders of participation tokens are entitled to a proportional share of the issuer's reference value (e.g. sales), rather than being obligated to repay the investment.
    • In the case of a company's success, utility tokens do not grant the holder pecuniary benefits, but a right to use digital services.
  • How much does Switzerland's tax rate cost?

    The following taxes may be applied at the federal, cantonal, or communal levels to companies engaging in activities related to the above-mentioned crypto categories:

    1. The corporate income tax rate is between 12% and 21%
    2. It is taxed at a rate of 0.001%-0.5% on capital gains
    3. Value Added Tax (VAT) – 7.7%
    4. Withholding Tax (WHT) – 35%
    5. Social Security Contributions – 0.5%-5.3%
    6. Issuance Stamp Duty – 1%
  • Does corporate income tax come in different forms?

    The Corporate Income Tax is composed of the following elements, according to Swiss tax laws:

    • Corporations are subject to federal income tax
    • Corporations are subject to a cantonal income tax
    • Corporations are subject to a communal income tax

    Net profits of corporations are taxed at 8.5% by the federal government. There are many differences between cantonal and communal corporate income taxes since each canton has a different tax system. You can request personalized advice from the Regulated United Europe (RUE) team if you want to know which Swiss location would be best for your crypto business.

  • Do crypto businesses in Switzerland have to pay VAT?
    In terms of VAT, native token transactions, including exchanges, are not subject to VAT since native tokens qualify as a means of payment. Generally, commissions or fees associated with such transactions are VAT exempt without credit because they are fees for financial services. Other categories of cryptocurrencies, however, may be subject to VAT due to their different functions and purposes of use (e.g. providing a particular service).
  • In the Crypto Valley, what are the tax rates?

    It is based in Zug, where there are attractive tax rates and a regulatory framework that is supportive of the cryptocurrency-related business community, making it one of the most mature and largest DLT ecosystems.
    The following aspects should be considered by crypto companies planning to operate in Crypto Valley:

    • Native token transactions (e.g. Bitcoin) are not subject to VAT.
    • There is a proportional corporate income tax (up to 15.1%).
    • A salary statement must reflect the income tax (approx. 23%) applicable to cryptocurrency salaries
    • Cryptocurrencies can be used for tax payments
  • Are there any plans to tax net wealth?
    Taxes based on market value are a common cantonal tax imposed on cryptocurrencies, such as the Net Wealth Tax. There are major differences between cantons due to their local rates and collection systems. Tax bands are determined by factors such as residence permit type, marital status, and annual income, for example, in Zurich. A single taxpayer who earns less than 77,000 CHF (approx. 77,800 EUR) is not subject to paying the tax, but can be required to pay up to 5,584 CHF (approx. 5,640 EUR) if their income exceeds 3,158,000 CHF (approx. 3,191,000 EUR). For married couples, the thresholds are slightly higher.
  • Can you tell me what the capital gains tax rate is?
    Capital Gains Tax is imposed on profits from selling or trading crypto by self-employed crypto traders and businesses at a rate of up to 7.8%. Personal wealth assets are exempt from the tax.
  • What advancements will be made in the near future?
    The Swiss government is obligated to transpose OECD recommendations and policies into Swiss law, since Switzerland is an OECD member. A new international tax transparency framework, known as Crypto-Asset Reporting Framework (CARF), has recently been introduced by the OECD to reduce inconsistencies and administrative silos associated with crypto-related taxation and tax reporting. To deal with the rapid adoption of cryptocurrencies, the OECD essentially proposes that international tax authorities share information on taxpayers and automatic tax reporting to be implemented.

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