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Military Service Exemption Tax

Swiss men who do not perform military or civilian service are required to pay Military Service Exemption Tax.

When do you start paying the tax and when can you stop?

The length of time a person is subject to the tax depends on the general length of military service. A person is subject to the tax from the beginning of the year in which they reach the age of 20 and lasts, for those deemed unfit to perform military service or not assigned to a military unit, until the end of the year in which they reach the age of 30. For those who postpone military or civilian service, the obligation to pay the tax ceases at the latest in the year in which they reach the age of 34.

Civil defence service is deducted from the annual military service exemption tax. Every day worked for civil defence reduces the military service exemption tax by 4 per cent.

How much is the Military Service Exemption Tax?

The Military Service Exemption Tax amounts to 3% of your taxable income for the purpose of direct federal tax each year (see your tax return), or a minimum of CHF 400.

Refund

If you subsequently perform the military or civilian service to which the exemption applies, you may, after completing service duties in full, claim a refund of the exemption tax. This right lapses five years after the duty to perform service ceases to apply. The application for a refund must be sent to the relevant cantonal office responsible for Military Service Exemption Tax. No interest is paid on refunded tax.

Application for a refund - cantonal office