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Switzerland Simplifies Process For German WHT Refunds

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

The Swiss Government has said that from January 31 individuals and legal entitles domiciled in Germany will be able to use an online Swiss application to request a refund of Swiss withholding tax (WHT).

The application will be provided by the Swiss Federal Tax Administration (FTA) and will be available on the federal tax authority's website. After a one-off registration process, the refund request can be entered electronically and attachments uploaded directly.

The application can be used for refund requests submitted from Germany for income with due dates on or after January 1, 2020. It will replace Form 85, which will remain valid only for refund requests concerning income with due dates up to December 31, 2019. The application can also be used by authorized fiduciaries and banks.

For legal reasons, it will still be necessary to print out the request and have it signed by the competent German tax office. The signed request must be sent to the FTA by post. Requests entered via the online application will not be considered to have been submitted until the printed request has been signed by the German tax authorities and received by the FTA in due time.

The Swiss Government hopes that the online application will reduce the risk of error during submission and will accelerate the refund process.