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Koinly crypto tax guide Switzerland


The Ultimate Switzerland Crypto Tax Guide 2022

Last updated: Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Cryptocurrency transactions are not subject to Capital Gains tax in Switzerland by the Swiss Federal Tax Administration. Instead, the Swiss Wealth Tax applies. However, this only the case for private investors and not to sole traders or businesses. Read on to learn more about Swiss crypto taxe rules in 2022.

This guide is regularly updated

One last thing before we start - the rules on crypto tax are in constant flux. At Koinly we keep a very close eye on the FTA's crypto policies and regularly update this guide to keep you informed and tax-compliant.

First Published 24 Nov 2021: Welcome to your Switzerland cryptocurrency tax guide!

How is Cryptocurrency taxed in Switzerland

In Switzerland, cryptocurrency is not classified as legal tender. Instead, Swiss authorities view crypto as crypto based assets, or kryptobasierte vermögenswerte.

For the purposes of tax, crypto is Switzerland is a private wealth asset. Crypto is comparable with bank deposits and subject to wealth taxes. Investors must therefore declare their crypto holdings in their annual tax return

In terms of Capital Gains Tax and Income Tax, these will not apply to private investors. However the tax treatment of crypto in Switzerland will be very different depending on whether it originated from your private investment or business activities.

Capital Gains Tax

Crypto gains are only taxable in Switzerland if you’re trading as self-employed, or as a business.

In Switzerland, capital gains arising from a private wealth asset, like cryptocurrency, are exempt from tax. The realised gains arising from the disposal of cryptocurrency are therefore not subject to tax. Conversely, any losses arising from the disposal of cryptocurrency assets are not tax-deductible. 

Each Canton has the freedom to determine whether or not an individual’s cryptocurrency transactions should be considered self-employed activity, so check with your tax advisor if you’re not sure

Capital losses

In Switzerland, individual crypto  investors will not be able to claim capital losses, as private wealth assets are not subject to capital gains tax.

Wealth tax

Under Swiss tax law, cryptocurrencies are considered to be items that can be valued and traded. They are therefore assets that are subject to wealth tax. Tax rates vary from one canton to another. The Swiss Federal Tax Administration defines the taxation value of the most commonly used cryptocurrencies on 31 December each year. The rates are based on the average of different exchanges. Published rates will include Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether, Litecoin and Ripple, for example.

Swiss taxpayers must refer to this taxation value when declaring their crypto assets. If the FTA has not provided a value for a cryptocurrency, the asset holder must declare the value as of 31 December using the value defined by the platform on which the assets are held - a Koinly tax report can help with this.

Wealth tax for individuals can reach up to 10 promille depending on the canton, and other factors such as marital status.

Wealth Tax in the canton of Zurich

For individuals in Zurich, crypto is subject to Wealth Tax and falls into the category of other funds. Mining rewards are seen as income and Income Tax applies.

Zurich taxes wealth at 6.1 promille and offers a tax-exempt limit of 77.000 CHF.

Income is taxed at 39%.

Wealth Tax in the canton of Bern

For individuals in Bern, crypto is subject to Wealth Tax and falls into the category of miscellaneous. Mining and trading is seen as income and Income Tax applies.

Bern has a wealth tax rate of 5.8 promille and a tax-exempt limit of 97.000 CHF

Income is taxed at 41%.

Wealth Tax in the canton of Lucerne

For individuals in Lucerne, crypto is subject to Wealth Tax and falls into the category of miscellaneous income. Mining and trading is seen as income and Income Tax applies.

Lucerne taxes wealth at 2.6 promille.

Income is taxed at 31%.

Income tax

If an employee receives cryptocurrency as a salary, this is part of their taxable income. The value of the cryptocurrency in Swiss francs at the time of receipt must be noted on the pay slip.

If a self-employed person accepts Bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies for the provision of their services, this income must also be included in the income in the amount of the equivalent in francs.

What about staking, mining and yield farming? The FTA has not made it clear how income from DeFi products should be taxed, but it is safe to assume that earned interest and tokens will be seen as income:

  • Staking rewards and liquidity pools
  • Mining
  • Airdrops
  • DeFi interest
  • Referral bonus

How will the FTA know about your crypto accounts?

If you have an account with a European digital currency exchange, then it's likely that the FTA already has your data.

When the European Union’s Sixth Anti-Money Laundering Directive came fully into force on June 3 2021, every company that provides financial services to cryptocurrency customers and businesses will have to comply with much tougher regulations about when and how they identify customers. Data is made available between EU member states in a bid to stamp out money laundering and illegal activities.

Keep records

Most tax offices around the world require residents to keep detailed records of cryptocurrency transactions for 5 years. Switzerland is no different. It's advisable to keep the following records:

  • the date of your crypto transactions
  • the value of the cryptocurrency in Euro at the time of the transaction (which can be taken from a reputable online exchange.)
  • what the transaction was for and who the other party was (even if it’s just their cryptocurrency address).

Koinly can help with record keeping. By syncing your wallets and exchanges to your Koinly account you will have one central dashboard from where to record and view all of your crypto activity. Portfolio tracking is available on a FREE Koinly plan.

How to file your crypto tax return in Switzerland

Swiss taxpayers need to file an annual tax return. Individual cantons administer their own tax returns – the Swiss government’s website provides links for each canton.

The tax year in Switzerland corresponds with the calendar year. In most cantons, you need to file your tax return three months later, by 31 March.

How to use a crypto tax app like Koinly to calculate your tax

Don't get stuck in the busywork. Don't get it wrong. Don't rely on your accountant to know where to look. Use Koinly. Here's how easy it is:

  1. Sign up for a FREE account.
  2. Select your base country and currency.
  3. Connect Koinly to your wallets and exchanges. Koinly integrates with Binance, Bitwala, CoinSpot, CoinJar, Kraken, Swyft, and 300+ more. (See all)
  4. Let Koinly crunch the numbers. Make a coffee.
  5. Ta-da! Your data is collected and your full tax report is ready!
  6. To download your crypto tax report, upgrade to a paid plan from $49 per year.
  7. Send your report to your accountant, or complete your tax submission yourself, using the figures from your Koinly report.

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