Shares in percent
2019 ordinary receipts
Shares in percent
VAT accounted for 30.2% of ordinary receipts, making it the most important source of receipts for the Confederation, together with direct federal tax. Domestic consumption is taxed. This includes the acquisition of domestic goods and services, as well as imports. Exports are not subject to VAT.
Direct federal tax accounted for 31.2% of ordinary receipts. Together with value added tax, it is the most important source of receipts for the Confederation. Direct federal tax is levied on the income of natural persons and on the net profit of legal entities. The proportions of income tax and profit tax receipts were more or less balanced at 49% and 51% of direct federal tax. The 2019 receipts were derived primarily from taxable income and profits from 2018.
Withholding tax accounted for 11.2% of ordinary receipts. Tax is levied on investment income such as dividends and interest. Withholding tax receipts represent the balance of funds received and reimbursed, as well as the provision for refund requests still expected. As these fluctuate, the balance is subject to major fluctuations which are largely unpredictable. For this reason, withholding tax revenue is estimated by means of a statistical smoothing method which assesses the trend. In the short term, this leads to deviations from the budgeted amount, although more accurate projections are achieved on average.
Mineral oil tax accounted for 6.1% of ordinary receipts in 2019. Overall, around three quarters of these receipts are earmarked for road and air transportation (60% of the basic tax and all of the surtax).
Stamp duty accounted for 2.9% of ordinary receipts. Transfer stamp tax on stock market transactions accounts for over half of stamp duty and therefore has a strong influence on how it develops. The issue tax on the accumulation of net assets/equity fluctuates considerably, as it depends on the equity requirements of companies. The relatively stable receipts from insurance premium stamp duty form the third component.
Tobacco duty accounted for 2.7% of ordinary receipts. The revenue is earmarked for old-age and survivors' insurance.
Other tax receipts consist essentially of transportation taxes such as the heavy vehicle charge and incentive fees such as the CO2 tax.
Nontax receipts accounted for 6.2% of ordinary receipts. They include among other things the profit distribution from the Swiss National Bank (SNB), as well as further receipts such as military service exemption tax, building revenue and fees.
Development of 2019 receipts
in mn and %
Ordinary receipts grew by 1.0% year on year. Higher receipts were recorded above all for direct federal tax (+0.8 bn) and withholding tax (+0.4 bn). In contrast, there was a decline in receipts from value added tax (-0.1 bn) and nontax receipts (-0.8 bn). The drop in nontax receipts was due to the high figure recorded the previous year. In 2018, nontax receipts saw the recognition of high investment receipts due to special factors (conversion of SIFEM AG, release of the infrastructure fund liquidity reserve). In addition, the Swiss Alcohol Board made its last profit distribution in 2018.
Coming in at 22.5 billion, value added tax (VAT) receipts edged down by 0.1 billion (-0.6%). The budget was undershot by 0.9 billion (-3.8%). At the time of budgeting in June 2018, economic growth of 2.7% was assumed for 2019. However, nominal GDP growth was only 1.3% because of the weak economy. Furthermore, the budget figure for 2019 was based on an overestimation of VAT receipts in 2018. Growth in VAT receipts is normally in line with growth in nominal gross domestic product (GDP). However, VAT growth has been weaker in the past two fiscal years.
Stamp duty receipts rose year on year (1.6%), but fell short of budgeted receipts by 168 million (-7.3%). Relative to the previous year, particularly transfer stamp tax receipts increased (+96 mn), due to the higher stock exchange turnover of domestic securities dealers. In contrast, issue tax receipts were down on the previous year's high level (-75 mn). All types of stamp duty failed to reach the budgeted figures, i.e. issue tax (-47 mn), turnover tax (-88 mn) and premium stamp duty (-33 mn).
Mineral oil tax receipts have been falling since 2008. They posted a year-on-year decline also in 2019 (-1.4%). The deviation relative to the budget was minor (-25 mn).
Experience has shown that tobacco duty receipts drop by around 2% per year, which was confirmed in 2019 (-1.9%). They undershot budgeted receipts to an even greater extent (-2.5%). This was caused mainly by shopping tourism in neighboring countries. In addition, cigarette consumers increasingly switched to tax-exempt e-cigarettes or lower-taxed tobacco goods such as heat not burn products. The minimum age of 18 for purchasing tobacco products introduced by sales outlets is also likely to have contributed to the decline.
Withholding tax receipts rose by 5% to 8.3 billion. As in the previous year, the budgeted figure was clearly exceeded (+1.3 bn). The figure for withholding tax receipts is formed by incoming payments less refunds and changes in provisions. Incoming payments from withholding tax rose by 6.1 billion due to companies' substantial dividend payments, and reached a new high in 2019. At the same time, refunds surged like the previous year (+4.6 bn). Based on the historical figures for incoming payments and refund requests, a provision is estimated each year for the future refund requests expected. The method used to evaluate the provision was reviewed last year, and the amount recognized in the statement of financial position was revised upward. As a result, provisions were increased by 1.5 billion in 2019.
Direct federal tax receipts climbed by 0.8 billion to 23.3 billion relative to the previous year, and the budgeted figure was exceeded by 0.5 billion. Both income tax and profit tax increased year on year (+0.3 bn and +0.5 bn, respectively). The main tax year 2018 accounted for around 72% of receipts. Household income rose by 2.2% in 2018. Taking the progressive tax rate into account, the increase in income tax receipts in 2019 was rather low at 2.7%. Profit tax experienced a sharp increase of 4.6% in 2019, which was partly due to the nominal GDP growth recorded in 2018 (+3.0%). Following the record year of 2018, advance payments of profit tax fell from almost 2 billion to 1.3 billion.
Development of ordinary receipts
in bn and % of GDP
Ordinary receipts increased by just under 0.8 billion, or 1.0%, in 2019, meaning that their growth was slightly weaker than that of nominal GDP (+1.3%). This was attributable to non-recurring receipts the previous year. Adjusted for these special factors, receipt growth amounted to 2.2%. However, expressed as a percentage of GDP, receipts remained unchanged at 10.7%.
Last modification 26.03.2020