The Swiss Federal Tax Administration (SFTA) published its updated annual circular letters indicating the safe haven interest rates for loans in CHF and foreign currencies to and from shareholders or related parties applicable for 2023. If the effectively applied interest rates are not within the safe haven interest rates as listed below, then further evidence is required to proof that they are in line with the market interest rates and at arm’s length.
Loans in CHF to shareholders or related parties (asset side)
The minimum interest rates for CHF loans granted by a company based in Switzerland to a shareholder or related party are as follows:
Loans to shareholders or related parties (in CHF)
Interest rate minimum
|If financed by equity capital|
|If financed by debt capital|
own financing + costs + spread of 0.50%* or 0.25%* but in total at least 1.50%
* 0.5% for loans up to CHF 10m, 0.25% for loans exceeding CHF 10m
Loans in CHF from shareholders or related parties (liability side)
The maximum interest rates for CHF loans received from a shareholder or related party (depending on the use of the funds) are as follows:
Loan < 1M
Loan > 1M
|For Swiss trading or production companies|
|For Swiss holding or asset management companies|
Real Estate Loans
Housing and Agriculture
Industry and Commerce
Up to the amount of the 1st mortgage
(i.e. 2/3 of the market value of the property)
whereby the following maximum rates for debt financing apply:
Loans in foreign currencies to shareholders or related parties (asset side)
If loans are not granted in CHF but in a foreign currency, the safe haven interest rates in the table below are to be applied as a minimum interest rate (but at least the interest rate for loans in CHF, should the interest rate for the foreign currency be lower):
(only selected countries shown here; a more comprehensive list of currencies and years is available in the SFTA circular letter)
The safe haven interest rates are valid provided that the loans are financed by equity. For loans financed by debt capital, a minimum spread of 0.5% has to be added, but in total at least the safe haven rate has to be applied.
Loans in foreign currencies from shareholders or related parties (liability side)
The save haven interest rates as per the table above are basically also applied as the maximum safe haven rates for loans payable in foreign currencies.
However, for operating loans, the safe haven rates for loan payables can be increased by 2.25% (for loans up to CHF 1m) respectively by 0.75% (for loans exceeding CHF 1m) for trading or production companies.
For holding or asset management companies, the save haven rates for operating loan payables can be increased by 1.75% (for loans up to CHF 1m) respectively by 0.5% (for loans exceeding CHF 1m).
Higher interest rates can be accepted if it can be demonstrated that they are at arm’s length.