The Federal Council approved a package of provisions to reduce the administrative burden for companies, supplementing a previous set of measures voted in in 2011. The priorities include the introduction of electronic VAT payment and simplified customs procedures.
The Swiss Federal Council wants to further reduce the administrative burden for companies in Switzerland. After an initial set of measures in 2011, the government approved, on September 2, 2015, 31 new provisions to get rid of unnecessary administrative formalities. The goal was to make Swiss companies more competitive and support jobs, in a context marked by the crisis of the strong Swiss franc.
A report by the Federal Council titled "Reducing administrative burden. Improving regulations—reducing the administrative burden for companies: 2012–2015 progress and 2016–2019 outlook" shows that, even though Switzerland is already positioned well internationally in terms of administrative burden, the country still has room for improvement.
The Federal Council considers the following measures to be priorities:
- VAT: Partial revision of the VAT law and introduction of fully electronic VAT payment. Electronic VAT payment should be up and running by the end of 2018. Invoicing is not affected.
- Customs: Implementation of the project to overhaul the management of freight, which, for example, provides for the creation of an IT portal for customs clearance and the end of the obligation to indicate in advance where the goods will cross the border.
- "One-stop shop": EasyGov.swiss is the online e-governance desk for companies. EasyGov.swiss, in a user-friendly style, enables SMEs and company founders to carry out their administrative tasks at any time and focus on their core business. Currently, EasyGov.swiss offers the following e-governance services: company establishment, registration with the Trade Register, VAT, social security (AVS) and accident insurance registration, changes to the Trade Register and obligations to be carried out with the tax authorities. By the end of 2019, the administrative procedures most in demand will appear on EasyGov.swiss and may be completed by companies electronically.
- Procedure for communicating wages: Increase in the number of users to 35,000 customers ending wage data via the Salaire Standard CH (PUCS) portal. At end-2014, 25,000 SMEs were using this streamlined procedure for communicating wages. The long-term goal is to reach all companies with less than 10 employees, including fiduciaries.
- Professional representation for creditors: Entry into force of the review of professional representation for creditors. The proposal aims to guarantee free access to the market in terms of the representation of third-parties in compulsory-enforcement procedures, or in other words, before the debt-enforcement and bankruptcy offices, whereas currently, the cantons can set the conditions for them. For SMEs, this signifies that instead of being required to be represented by a lawyer in procedures for setting aside the debtor's objection, it will now be possible to contact collection agencies in all cantons.
75% of the measures approved in 2011 have been applied
Of the 20 measures voted in in 2011, 15 have been implemented or are in the process of being implemented in accordance with the predefined schedule. The following measures have been implemented:
- The presentation of accounts has been simplified, by raising the thresholds for companies subject to the ordinary audit and relaxing the obligation to undertake ordinary bookkeeping and to report on the completion of a risk assessment.
- Nineteen procedures for important authorizations were verified in order to assess whether they were compatible with the new principles of "slimming down", then adapted if necessary.
- The cantonal offices of the Trade Register are now required to accept electronic requests and supporting documents.
The sending of wage data electronically for the LPP, the deduction of withholding tax, AVS/CAF, the calculation of the entitlement to benefits and VAT has been expanded.