Federal government enforces statute of limitations

The taxman in Bern has come up with new statutes of limitations. (Image: Alan Andersen / unsplash)

The Federal Tax Administration has set new limitation periods in motion. It concerns the claim for the refund of withholding tax.

The laws “do not contain any provisions on the statute of limitations for the refund claim,” reads the credo in a media release issued Tuesday by the Federal Tax Administration (FTA). Therefore, a relative statute of limitations of five years applies with immediate effect, it continued.

The period begins to run when the claim arises, the officials continued.

Citizens under pressure

“Assurances to the contrary given by the FTA in individual cases must be considered in the light of the constitutionally-guaranteed principle of good faith,” the tax authorities also write. However, it is up to the beneficiaries of the refunds to provide proof of this, it is further noted.

This means that citizens who are entitled to reclaim withholding tax must be careful not to forfeit their claim unknowingly. However, the time limit will be interrupted as soon as a claim is filed. On the day following the submission, a new five-year period begins to run, according to the updated information.

These statutes of limitations even apply to information or requests for documents.

Observe due dates

Applications for these must be submitted in writing to the competent authority. In Switzerland, the application can be filed at the earliest after the end of the calendar year in which the taxable service becomes due. In international relations, the application for refund can generally be made as of the due date of the taxable service.

So, with all that said, taxpayers need to watch out for suddenly not getting back overpaid money from states because of the statute of limitations.


Federal government enforces statute of limitations

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