Changes in withholding tax 2021

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What is at stake?

In addition to major legislative changes in the Swiss tax area, such as “STAF”, the provisions on withholding tax on employee income have also been revised.

Changes for employees subject to withholding tax

From 1 January 2021, “quasi-residency” will be introduced throughout Switzerland.

In addition, persons liable to withholding tax in Switzerland will now also have the immediate option of submitting a tax return.


In order to meet the demand for equal tax treatment of Swiss and foreign nationals, the model of quasi-residency was created, which applies to persons living abroad but working in Switzerland.

This is possible if at least 90% of the gross income is realised in Switzerland. Of course, the income of the spouse also counts towards this 90%.

The spouse can submit an application for subsequent ordinary assessment to the cantonal tax administration until 31 March of the following year.

Subsequent ordinary assessment if resident in Switzerland

Until now, only persons liable to withholding tax with a gross income of more than CHF 120,000 had to complete a retrospective ordinary assessment.

From 2021, every citizen liable to withholding tax will be able to fill out such an application in order to save taxes.

Such an application for the tax return must be submitted by 31 March of the following year at the latest.

Anyone who submits such an application must also fill out a tax return in the future. In most cases, this application is only made if it brings tax advantages, which is not a big deal.

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