In this year’s early summer days, the Swiss Federal Tax Authorities (SFTA) has responded for the first time – after lengthy internal consultations – with a draft practice circular to the pressing issue of the treatment of crypto businesses and transactions such as ICOs and TGEs for Swiss value-added tax (VAT) purposes. Although it has been a first move into the right direction, the draft practice circular leaves a fair amount of questions and uncertainties which will remain until the final text has been confirmed by the SFTA. Hence, an impressive amount of comments has been submitted to the attention of the SFTA (incl. several members of the Crypto Valley Association Working Group Tax / Accounting / Structuring [CVA WG TAS]) to ensure the viewpoints of the crypto community are properly understood.

Nevertheless, business must go on and start-ups need to deal with such VAT uncertainties in an appropriate manner. Given the fact that unknowingness does not protect you from sanctions, it becomes necessary to smartly document the internal VAT and risk assessment of such VAT uncertainties.

A plausible option could be to supplement your accounts with a write-up of your internal considerations and reflections whether you see a VAT liability accruing or not from your business activities. Such documents and policy help proving a best-efforts approach once the final text of the VAT practice will be enforced. By not proactively acting upon these VAT uncertainties, there is a certain risk that the SFTA might interpret such behavior as being ignorant to the rule of law and could subject you to adverse VAT effects.

The Crypto Valley Association Working Group Tax / Accounting / Structuring and its members are available in case you look for professional support: