As the name suggests, the provisional tax invoice is a presumed estimate of the tax liability. It is intended to help taxpayers prepare for the financial burden of the tax statement.
Deadlines for provisional tax invoices
The date on which provisional tax invoices are issued and the payment deadlines vary from canton to canton. As a rule, the provisional tax invoice is issued in the first quarter of the calendar year and should be paid before October or November.
How is the amount of the provisional tax invoice calculated?
In principle, the calculation of the provisional tax invoice is always based on the last known taxation. Changes are only made if the tax administration determines, either on the basis of the tax return filed, that there has been a significant change in income or assets, or if the taxpayer wishes to adjust the tax bill. However, such an adjustment must always be justified, especially if the amount is to be reduced.
It is recommended to inform the tax administration of significant financial developments in order to keep the provisional tax invoice as up-to-date as possible.
Does the provisional tax invoice have to be paid?
As with most tax issues, the answer is the same: it depends on the canton of residence. A provisional tax invoice is not a legally binding decision, but the canton may make it a challengeable decision. If this is the case, taxpayers can be sued for provisional taxes. It is therefore advisable, as always, to check with one's canton and, preferably, not to come to this conclusion.