VAT Consulting AG

Theaterstrasse 18

CH-4051 Basel
Phone: +41 (0) 61 225 90 50
Fax: +41 (0) 61 225 90 51

10.6 Storage of invoices

The taxable person must retain in a proper manner its books of account, vouchers, business documents and other records until the absolute time limitation of the tax claim (which is ten years after expiration of the tax period, in which the tax claim arose; Art. 42 para. 6 VAT Law). Business documents that are required in connection with the calculation of de-taxation (i.e. if the conditions for the input tax deduction arise later (de-taxation), the input tax can be deducted in the reporting period in which the conditions arose) and own use of immovable goods, are to be retained for twenty years (Art. 31 para. 3 and Art. 32 para. 2 VAT Law).


The storage obligation is based on Art. 957 of the Swiss Civil Law. It requires that the income statement and the balance sheet have to be signed and kept in paper form. The electronic storage is permitted, provided that the legibility is guaranteed at all times (see also section 10.7). It is mandatory to archive electronically the electronic import and export declarations issued by Swiss customs authorities (Federal Customs Administration (FCA)), as these contain an electronic signature. In a release as of 20 September 2011 the FCA has confirmed that the printing on paper of an electronic import or export declaration has, in principle, a lower probative value than the original, which is electronically stored.


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