Reimbursement of withholding tax to international organisations and their members of personnel
According to article 28, par. 2 of the federal Law of 13 October 1965 on withholding tax :
- International organisations and civil servants employed by them who are domiciled in Switzerland are entitled to reimbursement of withholding tax if, when payment of the tax is due, the legal provisions, conventions or commun usage exempt them from the payment of cantonal tax on securities and assets held in a the bank and income from these.
The withholding tax is not exempted at the source. A request for reimbursement must be submitted in writing.
International organisations must request the reimbursement of the withholding tax in writing to the Swiss Federal Tax Administration (see details below). The request for reimbursement should include the supporting documents together with the form R 25 (available from banks).
To limit the loss of interest on the withholding tax prior to reimbursement, article 65 and article 65a of the Ordinance on withholding tax allow for reimbursement by instalment to be credited at the end of each of the three first quarters. The amount of instalment is calculated to correspond to one quarter of the presumed total annual amount. Reimbursement of more than 75% is unlikely. A certain margin of security must be maintained in case the reimbursement due is actually less than the presumed amount as a result of lower interest rates.
Members of the senior management (holders of a "B" legitimation card)
High ranking officials (holders of a "C" legitimation card)
Those persons enjoying diplomatic privileges and immunities are exempt in Switzerland from taxation on their income and assets as well as on remuneration from employment, and on movable property and the revenue that it provides. On the basis of article 28, par. 2 of the federal Law on withholding tax of 13 October 1965, they are entitled to reimbursement of the withholding tax. The request for reimbursement should be made in writing on form R 25 (available from the banks) and addressed to the Swiss Federal Tax Administration (see details below).
Officials in professional category (holders of a "D" legitimation card)
Officials in general services (holders of an "E" legitimation card)
Such persons are usually exempt from taxation on remuneration from employment and are subject to the normal taxation in Switzerland on their immovable property and the revenue that it provides. If, however, such persons are entirely exempt in a particular canton, they are entitled to reimbursement of the withholding tax on the basis of articles 21, 22 and 23 of the federal Law on withholding tax of 13 October 1965. The request for reimbursement must be made in writing to the fiscal authority of the canton in which they were domiciled at the beginning of the calendar year in which the income liable to withholding tax became due (cf. article 30, par. 1 of the federal Law on withholding tax of 13 October 1965).
Only those persons domiciled in Switzerland are entitled to reimbursement of the withholding tax. Persons living abroad are still subject to withholding tax unless there is a double taxation agreement between Switzerland and their State of residence (which also assumes that the assets in question are subject to normal taxation in the State of residence).