Tax Reclaims on Swiss Securities

Interest payments, dividends, and other distributions of profits made to non-residents by Swiss companies are subject to 35% Swiss withholding tax at source (Bundesgesetzes vom 13. Oktober 1965 über die Verrechnungssteuer (VStG; SR 642.21)).

While tax relief via relief-at-source or quick refund is generally not available on Swiss equity and debt payments, eligible investors could seek tax relief by filing a ‘long form reclaim’ with the Swiss tax authorities (Eidgenössische Steuerverwaltung or ESTV).

Acupay’s Swiss long form reclaim solution supports the processing and submission of any tax reclaims to the ESTV on the investors’ behalf and oversees the complete process until the excess withholding tax has been reclaimed.

Acupay’s Swiss long form reclaim solution can be used for instance for:

  • beneficial owners that have been taxed at the statutory rate and are a tax resident in a Double Taxation Treaty (DTT) country;
  • U.S. Regulated Investment Companies (RICs) or U.S. pension plans.

From Summer 2016, custodian banks can directly, automatically and securely submit tax relief requests into the Acupay System on behalf of the investors. This provides all parties in the process with real time updates on the reclaim process and access to the secure and dedicated CORE Library. Investors can direct their custodian bank or broker to Acupay if they are not already registered or familiar with the Acupay System.

In general, investors have until the end of the 3rd year after the payment date to submit a long form reclaim. The estimated time for the receipt of refund amounts is 2 to 12 months.