Double Taxation Agreement Between Switzerland and the UK: A Comprehensive Guide

If you are a UK-based business operating in Switzerland or a Swiss-based organization conducting operations in the UK, you are likely to be subject to double taxation in both countries. However, the good news is that both countries have signed a Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) that aims to prevent this occurrence. In this article, we will take an in-depth look at the DTA between Switzerland and the UK and what it means for businesses.

What is a Double Taxation Agreement (DTA)?

Double taxation refers to the situation where a business or an individual is taxed twice on the same income in two different countries. For example, a UK-based company that operates in Switzerland and earns income in both countries will be subject to tax in both countries, which may lead to double taxation. This can be a significant burden, and it may impact the profitability of the business.

To avoid this situation, countries around the world have signed DTAs, which aim to eliminate double taxation. DTAs are bilateral agreements signed between two countries, which outline the rules for how taxation is applied to income earned by businesses and individuals in both countries. The primary objective of DTAs is to eliminate the double taxation of income earned in both countries.

The Switzerland-UK DTA

The Switzerland-UK DTA was signed in 1977 and has since been amended several times over the years. The most recent amendment to the DTA was made in 2018, which focuses on the exchange of information between the two countries.

The DTA covers different types of income, including dividends, interest, royalties, and pensions. It also outlines the rules for taxation of income from employment, shipping, and air transport, among others.

The DTA aims to eliminate double taxation by providing relief for businesses operating in both countries. Relief is provided in two ways:

1. Exemption Method

The exemption method exempts income earned in one country from taxation in the other country. For example, a Swiss-based company operating in the UK will be exempt from UK tax if the income is taxed in Switzerland.

2. Credit Method

The credit method allows businesses to reduce the tax payable in one country by the tax paid in the other country. For example, a UK-based company operating in Switzerland will pay Swiss tax on the income earned in Switzerland. However, they can offset this tax against the UK tax they would pay on the same income.

The DTA also contains provisions for the elimination of double taxation in specific circumstances. For example, if a Swiss-based company operates a branch in the UK, the income generated from the UK branch will only be subject to UK tax.


The DTAs signed by countries around the world aim to eliminate double taxation of income earned in different countries. The DTA between Switzerland and the UK provides relief for businesses operating in both countries. This relief is provided through the exemption method and the credit method, which allow businesses to reduce the tax payable in one country and avoid double taxation.

As an SEO expert, it is essential to be aware of the DTA and its implications for businesses operating in Switzerland and the UK. By understanding how the DTA works, you can advise businesses on how to structure their operations to minimize the impact of double taxation and comply with tax laws in both countries.