Last updated:: May 14, 2023
This tax was introduced during the First World War — and has nothing to do with the Post Office in case you wonder ;) — to tax securities trading (shares, bonds, etc.) between persons.
There are three important rules to know about Swiss stamp duty:
- It amounts to 0.075% of the transaction amount for Swiss securities; example: if you buy for CHF 8'000 from Roche, you have to pay 8'000 x 0.075 / 100 = CHF 6 of stamp duty
- It amounts to 0.15% of your transaction amount for non-Swiss securities; example: if you buy for CHF 8'000 of Tesla, you have to pay 8'000 x 0.15 / 100 = CHF 12
- And the most important rule that will allow us to optimize our tax situation: this stamp duty is only applicable for Swiss brokers (like Cornèrtrader or Swissquote), but not for foreign brokers
Concretely, in the cases 1 and 2, it is your Swiss broker who will charge you this stamp duty each time you make a transaction. This “invoicing” is simply done via your broker who withdraws this amount from the available cash on your brokerage account.
Personally, I use point 3 to optimize my taxation. Indeed, I use Interactive Brokers, a broker based in the United States, and therefore never pay this stamp duty. The same goes for the Dutch-based brokerage account DEGIRO that I use to invest the savings of our MP children.
Let’s now turn to the subject of capital gains tax in Switzerland.