Skip to content
Startseite » Advisor » Lexicon » Tax office ruling Switzerland explained simply – Tax lexicon

Tax office ruling Switzerland explained simply – Tax lexicon

In 2022, there were over 5,000 court decisions on tax office rulings in Switzerland. This shows how important it is in tax law. It is particularly relevant in the liquidation of companies. It regulates how debts and assets are divided. Article 549 of the Swiss Code of Obligations (CO) is often used, both at cantonal and federal level. According to, it is important to keep laws up to date in order to avoid problems.

Important findings

  • Over 5,000 court decisions on tax office rulings in 2022
  • Important regulation for the liquidation of companies
  • Article 549 CO plays an important role in tax law
  • Cantonal and federal level take the tax office ruling into account
  • Always check that the laws are up to date

What is a tax office ruling?

A tax office ruling is an important document in Swiss tax law. It informs taxpayers about the process and results of their tax procedure. It contains important decisions that are necessary for the tax return and other decisions.

Definition and meaning

The tax office issues the tax office ruling. It comprises binding instructions and decisions. These rulings show taxpayers what they have to do in the tax procedure. Their importance lies in their legally binding effect, which ensures clear communication.

Legal basis

A tax office ruling is based on Swiss tax law and the Swiss Code of Obligations. An important article here is Art. 549 OR. He has often been cited in court proceedings since 2023.

  • In the Cantonal Court of Zurich, Art. 549 was mentioned in cases such as RB170049 and HG100287. These cases concerned the distribution of profits and losses in companies.
  • The Federal Supreme Court has used Art. 549 in cases such as BGE 127 III 46 and 108 II 204. It dealt with financial issues for spouses in bankruptcy and cohabiting couples.
  • The Federal Administrative Court applied Art. 549 in cases such as BVGE A-1662/2006. The disputes revolved around VAT and tax debts in groups of companies.

Art. 549 OR therefore often appears in court decisions. The tax office ruling uses this article for legally secure decisions in tax matters.

Tax office and its role

In Switzerland, the tax office is very important. It sets and collects taxes. It works at federal, cantonal and municipal level. This ensures that the rules of Swiss tax law are followed.

Tasks of the tax office in Switzerland

The Swiss Tax Office takes care of tax returns, issues tax assessments and carries out audits. It ensures that individuals and companies pay their taxes.

  • Processing and auditing tax returns
  • Assessment and collection of taxes
  • Preparation of tax assessments
  • Carrying out tax audits

In Switzerland, there are three levels at which taxes are levied: Confederation, cantons and municipalities. Each level has its own tax responsibilities.

Difference to other tax authorities

The Swiss tax office has a special structure compared to other countries. Because taxes are levied on three levels, the system is multifaceted. Each canton has its own tax law, which provides for different tax rates.

Level Tasks
Covenant Collection of direct federal tax
Canton Regional tax laws and assessments
Municipality Financing local tasks through municipal taxes

Cantons in Switzerland have their own tax policies. This gives them autonomy, but also leads to differences in Swiss tax law. This allows them to better adapt to their specific needs.

Difference between tax office ruling and tax assessment notice

The tax office ruling and the tax assessment notice are important in the Swiss tax system. They have various tasks. We explain the differences and tell you when which document is important.

Definition of tax office ruling

A tax office ruling is an official letter regarding taxes. It shows the results of tax audits. It contains important information for those affected. Since 2023, this also applies to decisions by cantonal and federal courts.

Definition of tax assessment notice

The tax assessment notice shows how much tax someone has to pay. It comes after the tax return. Everyone should check their tax assessment notice to find errors.

Practical differences

Tax office rulings and tax assessment notices have different roles in the taxation process:

Criterion Tax office ruling Tax assessment notice
Function Result of the tax proceedings Final tax calculation
Meaning Binding instructions and information Amount owed and request for payment
Basis Court and administrative decisions pursuant to Art. 549 OR Evaluation of the tax return
Examination Review by tax authorities Taxpayers should check their tax assessment

Tax office rulings and tax assessment notices help taxpayers to understand their obligations. They make the tax system transparent and fair.

How to check your tax assessment correctly

A tax assessment notice is important in the Swiss tax process. It must be thoroughly checked. Taxpayers should follow a few crucial steps.

Important steps

You should check every part of the tax assessment carefully. This applies to information from your tax return and figures in the assessment notice. Deadlines must be observed in order to be able to lodge an objection.

Also check that all income and deductions are listed correctly.

Avoid common mistakes

There are mistakes that often happen, such as incomplete information. Or misunderstood tax deductions. A precise comparison with your tax documents helps to avoid such problems.

Legal support in the event of disagreements

If you have any problems, you should consult an expert. Tax consultants or lawyers are very familiar with Swiss tax laws. They can help to correct errors and save taxes. The right under Art. 549 OR is particularly useful for defending your rights.


What is a tax office ruling?

A tax office ruling is an important document for taxpayers in Switzerland. It contains important information and instructions for the tax procedure. It is based on Swiss tax law and Art. 549 of the Swiss Code of Obligations.

What is the legal basis for the tax office ruling?

The tax office ruling is based on Swiss tax law and the Swiss Code of Obligations. Article 549 OR is particularly important. These rules are recognized in the courts of the cantons and the federal government.

What are the tasks of the tax office in Switzerland?

The tax office ensures that taxes are correctly assessed and collected. It processes tax returns and issues tax assessments. If necessary, it also carries out tax audits.

How does the Swiss tax office differ from other tax authorities?

The Swiss tax office focuses on tax returns and tax assessments. It uses cantonal and federal laws, such as Art. 549 OR.

What is the difference between a tax office ruling and a tax assessment notice?

A tax office ruling provides information about the tax procedure. A tax assessment notice shows what you have to pay in taxes. They play different roles in the taxation process.

How can I check my tax assessment correctly?

Check your tax assessment notice carefully and observe the deadlines. To avoid mistakes, you should seek legal help if anything is unclear.

What common mistakes should I avoid when completing my tax return?

Avoid providing false information, observe deadlines and submit complete documents. Careful checking prevents many errors.

Where can I get legal support in the event of disagreements?

If you have problems with your tax assessment notice, tax advisors or lawyers can help. They offer support, particularly with regard to Art. 549 OR.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *