The Swiss Radio and TV fee is based on the turnover declared for Swiss VAT purposes. According to legislation and the current practice on the Radio and TV fee, the VAT-exempt turnover also flow into the basis.
Since 1 January 2019, the new device-independent Swiss fee for Radio and TV has been collected from companies. Companies (with their registered office or permanent establishment in Switzerland) which are entered into the Swiss VAT register and which generate total annual turnover of at least CHF 500,000 are subject to the Radio and TV fee. Foreign companies without a registered office or permanent establishment in Switzerland are not subject to the fee. It is not relevant whether a company has employees or not.
The Radio and TV fee now has 18 tariff levels. For example, a Swiss company with a total turnover of CHF 100 million has to pay a Radio and TV fee of CHF 13,665, or from a total turnover of CHF 1 billion a Radio and TV fee of an impressive CHF 49,925.
The Radio and TV fee is based on the total worldwide turnover of the Swiss company, i.e. including tax-exempt services such as exports, services abroad or interest income, proceeds from the sale of securities, proceeds from the sale of real estate or ""technical"" turnover due to restructuring which is subject to the notification procedure, etc. The tax qualification for VAT purposes is not relevant for the Radio and TV fee. The total turnover declared in box 200 of the VAT return (less consideration reductions) is decisive. The assessment basis is the total turnover achieved in the previous year. The Federal Tax Administration (FTA) automatically creates an annual invoice for the Radio and TV fee based on the Swiss VAT declarations submitted.
In contrast to the past, it is therefore essential that the total turnover is properly recorded in the VAT declarations, e.g. including interest income and sales proceeds from securities and real estate. According to the Q&A on the Radio and TV fee, (only) banks and insurance companies can waive the complete declaration of tax-exempt turnover, provided they voluntarily submit to the highest rate for the Radio and TV fee.
It is currently ""busy season"" for the preparation of the Swiss VAT declaration for the fourth quarter of 2020. Usually, the preparation of the declaration for the fourth quarter reflects the entire year and any ""errors"" from previous quarters are corrected.
We recommend, in particular, that Swiss entities that have only made the Swiss VAT registration on the basis of a partial area at that time (such as some rented-out parking spaces, ground floor of the property leased-out to a business or pension funds, investment funds and other ""vehicles"" for asset management purposes with property ownership) critically check the completeness of the declared turnover for Swiss VAT purposes.