Taxation of Swiss Properties


There are in general 2 types of taxes in the tax system in Switzerland. One is at the federal level the other is at the cantonal/communal level.

Federal taxes are such as tax on income, withholding tax, stamp duty and VAT.

Cantonal/communal taxes are such as tax on income, transfer tax, equity tax, real estate transfer tax, real estate holding tax, capital gain tax on properties (some places).

In Switzerland there are 26 different cantons as following:

  • Argau
  • Appenzell-Innerrhoden
  • Appenzell-Ausserrhoden
  • Berne
  • Basel-Landschaft
  • Basel-City
  • Fribourg
  • Geneva
  • Glarus
  • Graub√ľnden
  • Jura
  • Lucerne
  • Neuchatel
  • Nidwalden
  • Obwalden
  • Sankt Gallen
  • Schaffhausen
  • Solothurn
  • Schwyz
  • Thurgau
  • Ticino
  • Uri
  • Vaud
  • Valais
  • Zug
  • Zurich

Taxes can be very different from canton to canton.

Running taxes on Swiss real estate

There are big difference regarding the running taxes depending of the property and the canton, so it is not possible to tell, how it is calculated.

But the taxes are stated at the appetizer of each property.

Tax on capital gains of Swiss real estate

Private owners often make a profit when selling a house or a piece of land.

All cantons tax these profits

In most cases, these taxes are levied by the cantons themselves, while in some cantons they are also levied by the communes.
In the cantons of Zug and Zurich, it is only the communes that levy these taxes.

The Confederation does not tax profits made from the private sale of land.

The seller pays the tax, not the buyer. The amount usually depends on the amount of profit from the sale and on the period of ownership.


If you decide to use the capital gain to purchase a new home, you will pay less property gains tax, or none at all. The amount depends on how much of the capital gain you invest in the new property.


The tax office calculates the tax. The original purchase price is deducted from the profit you make on the sale. Other deductions also apply.

Property transfer tax

In most cantons, a property transfer tax is charged as well as property gains tax.

More information

In which canton is your property located? Please contact the tax office in that canton.

You can find a lot of information and under each municipality you can find a tariff for the tax on the capital gains.

Use this link:

Helle Skovby

Helle Skovby

Real estate agent


Michael Skovby Nielsen

Michael Skovby Nielsen

Tax and financial advisor


We are at your disposal at phone no. +33 64 06 16 500 or +33 64 39 14 317