The "Sonntagszeitung" published a week ago two interesting articles on VAT. They are based on information from the Federal Tax Administration (FTA), which up to now had not been published anywhere, but based on the Öffentlichkeitsgesetz (Freedom of Information Act SR 152.3) are in principle accessible to everyone. The articles concentrate - of wider public appeal - on the hospitality and erotic sectors. This blog has also commented on decisions, in which the number of condoms used has served as the measurement base. However, the FTA has supplied information covering all branches of the economy. The number of corrections and the amount of the additional charges, the debt enforcements and the fines have been listed in detail. If one combines this information with the VAT statistics already at my disposal, the result for 2013 looks as follows:

For the additional charges:

Click here to view table.

For debt enforcement procedures and fines:

Click here to view table.

The following conclusions can be drawn:

  • As a percentage of the tax paid on the turnover in this economic sector, the additional charges in property and residential are twice as high as in the Hotel and Restaurant industry and in finance and insurance. The lowest additional charges are in motor vehicles.
  • Measured by the number of cases the add-ons in finance and insurance and in property are the highest. In some years they amounted to CHF 50,000 per case.
  • The default risk for the FTA is highest in Hotels and Restaurants; over 5% of the tax had be debt enforced; in the motor vehicle industry - rather surprisingly - it is only 0.17%.
  • On the other hand in the motor vehicle business 1,360 fines were imposed; considerably more than in all other sectors. With an average of CHF 900 the fines are still moderate.
  • In the economic sectors investigated the VAT claims subject to debt enforcement amount for the years 2008 - 2013 to about CHF 400 Million each year.

With the build-up of the bureau of Investigation by the FTA it can be expected that in future the number and amount of the fines will increase. The annual reconciliation to correct errors in the VAT return therefore gains in importance in avoiding fines.

Read more on our VATelse blog.