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Forgotten tax return – what are the consequences?

For the tax return, the regulations may differ depending on the canton. Depending on the canton, different deadlines apply for the submission. You will receive a request to submit a tax return from your cantonal tax administration at the beginning of each year. Now it may happen that you forget to turn them in. In such cases, sanctions may be imposed. You will also be fined if you intentionally fail to file a tax return at all.

Request for extension of deadline if you cannot meet the deadline

It may happen that you do not manage to file the tax return by the specified deadline. In order not to be sanctioned for the late tax return, you should submit a request for extension of the deadline to your competent tax administration in due time. The request for extension of the deadline must be received by the tax administration by the deadline at the latest, otherwise you will be sanctioned. In time, if you think you will not be able to file your tax return on time, you should take action.

The deadline extension may be set at different lengths depending on the canton. You must expect to pay a fee if the deadline is extended beyond September 30. However, the applicable regulations differ depending on the canton.

Forgetting to file a tax return or deliberately failing to do so – these are the penalties you may face

If you fail to submit your tax return by the specified deadline, you will first receive a reminder from the relevant tax administration.

For the mahA reminder fee of approx. 60 CHF will be charged. With the reminder, you will be given a new deadline, which you should definitely meet.

If you let this deadline pass again,your income and the resulting tax liability will be assessed by the tax office at its discretion. As a result, it is possible that you will have to pay too much tax. You should prevent this. You will also receive a reminder if you intentionally do not file a tax return at all. You must pay the amount set by the tax office even in the case when you do not take into account the reminder.

Fines and procedures for missed appointments

Anyone who forgets to file their tax return or deliberately fails to file it at all must expect to be fined for violating procedural obligations. It can be up to CHF 10,000. Such a high fine is mainly due if the tax return is repeatedly forgotten or intentionally not submitted.

Now it is possible that you forget to file the tax return and also do not respond to the reminder. The tax administration will use its discretion to determine what tax you must pay. Sometimes this tax is set too low. This is in no way in your favor, because there are subsequent checks. If the tax is assessed too low, you can be sanctioned for tax evasion . You will have to pay the underpaid tax in arrears and also face a fine.

Do not file a tax return – no solution

It is not a good idea not to file a tax return, as you will be subject to penalties. If you do not agree with the tax that is determined by the tax administration, you can file an appeal. However, the chances of success are rather low. You can only be successful if you fill out all forms properly afterwards. This is also possible online, as you can now submit your tax return online in all cantons.

The sanctions in the form of warnings and fines apply in all Swiss cantons. However, different deadlines and differences in the amount of the fine may apply depending on the canton.

Forgotten to submit the tax return – what you can do

If you have forgotten to submit your tax return by the deadline and have not submitted a request for an extension of the deadline, you must accept the reminder or the tax assessed by the tax administration. However, you can subsequently fill out the forms and appeal the assessed tax.
Only if you yourself are not to blame for the delay, you can apply to your competent tax administration for restoration of the deadline. This is only possible if there are recognized reasons:

  • mental illness of the taxpayer
  • Spa stay of the taxpayer
  • Death in the taxpayer’s family.

Immediately, when the reason for prevention has ceased to exist, you must submit the request. Vacation, professional overload or ignorance are not recognized as reasons.

Reduction of the fine for tax evasion

If you have been fined by the competent tax administration for tax evasion, you do not have to take this fine for granted. You will be fined, but you have 30 days to file an appeal with the appropriate tax administration. If your appeal is accepted, a reduction of the fine is possible.

Help with the tax return

The electronic tax return is recognized in all cantons. However, different tax assistance programs are accepted depending on the canton. Tax assistance programs allow for faster tax filing, but they cannot prevent tax filing omissions.

You can get professional help from a tax advisor. It ensures that there are no errors in the tax return. However, it is also considered tax evasion if you conceal important information from the tax advisor, such as income, or fail to provide important supporting documents. In such cases, you must expect to be fined. The tax advisor can help you save taxes. However, he is equally bound by the deadlines for submitting the tax return that apply depending on the canton. If you regularly use the services of a tax advisor, you will have to submit your tax return by the due date, but you cannot forget to do so, as the tax advisor will take care of it.