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Covid-19 - Summary of Measures


Switzerland accountants news

1 May 2020


The filing and payment deadlines for the declarations are not extended. However, tax payers can file a substantiated application for postponement of VAT and other tax payments which does not lead to late payment interests.

Social insurances

Employers can apply for an interest-free deferral of contributions for the old age insurance. The conditions for short-time work compensation were extended and the application process was simplified. The qualifying period (waiting period) for reduced hours’ compensation was abolished. Parents who have to interrupt their employment for childcare due to school closures are entitled to compensation as well.


The crisis is considered as an event that does not have to be recognised in the balance sheet, since the risks of loss were not caused in 2019 and will only materialise in the new year.

Although it is not mandatory to book provisions, affected companies must disclose the financial impact of the pandemic in the notes to their 2019 financial statements and assess the consequences in terms of the company's going concern (after balance sheet events). In addition, it may be mandatory to waive dividend payments in order to secure equity and liquidity.

Nevertheless, the following applies under commercial law: "Corona provisions" can be very well justified by the need to ensure the continued prosperity of the company.

The majority of the cantonal tax offices makes clear that provisions and value adjustments in 2019 are not justified in business terms and therefore are not tax deductible. However, a minority of the cantons allow extraordinary expenses up to a certain limit in the financials 2019, already.

Government Aid

Affected SMEs receive bridging loans quickly, up to a maximum of 10% of their turnover, with a maximum of CHF 20 million. A one-page application form needs to be filed with any Swiss bank. The loans with a maturity of five years are paid out within half an hour and do not bear interests. Amounts up to CHF 0.5 million will be 100% guaranteed by the Confederation. Credits in excess of this amount are to be 85% guaranteed by the Confederation and are subject to a brief bank review.

In addition, cantonal and communal authorities provide emergency aid for the self-employed and for non-profit organisations in the fields of culture, social affairs, sport and education.

If you have any questions regarding this or any of the other initiatives offered to those affected by the current disruption, please contact Beat Wiederkehr at beat.wiederkehr@ancora-treuhand.ch.