For Swiss or C permit holders: will we have to pay more(interest/fine) if we don't pay the provisional Federal Direct Tax?

It’s just a matter of prioritization, I have various taxes and bills to pay and I’m a bit short on cash, so I want to prioritze paying bills/taxes that will charge me interest or penalties for late payment.

I have received the provisional invoice for the Federal Direct Tax FDT 2023. It’s due at the beginning of April.

If I ignore the invoice until I receive the FINAL invoice for Federal Direct Tax FDT 2023 with a definite amount, will I have to pay additional costs? (I have already filed my 2023 tax return)

You have to pay interest of 4.75% p.a. for late payments (after March 31). I don’t know whether there are any other consequences.

See Zinssätze für Abgaben und Steuern

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Also it’s a real bill, not a prepayment like for Gemeinde/Kanton, so don’t think you want to have it on your record.

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If you plan to apply for citizenship it’s probably recommended to eagerly pay all taxes.

Also I agree with the others that the federal tax is really a bill and should be paid at the risk of owing high interests. It’s not like a simple recommendation to pay for some cantonal taxes.


Whether or not you have to pay the provisional tax bills, and which credit or debit interest applies, depends on which canton you live in.

In Aargau, for example, you are required to pay the provisional tax bills. After your tax returns are processed, you pay the negative difference or are reimbursed the positive difference.

In Zurich, paying the provisional tax bills is optional. If the interest paid for advance payments is attractive, that could be an incentive for paying provisional tax bills, but there is no obligation to do so. You are only obligated to pay the final tax bill that you receive after your tax returns have been processed.

Each canton has its own model for calculating the interest you earn or are charged. In the typical model, you earn interest when you pay your tax bill (including provisional bills in cantons that have these) before a certain date, and you are charged interest if you pay your bill past that date (generally because you submit your tax returns late). The interest rates are typically identical for credit and debit interest.

Once you receive your effective tax bill, you must pay it by the due date or you will be charged high penalty interest until you pay your bill.

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Thanks for all. I was asking because it’s the provisional invoice based on their estimation and they will send a final invoice when they finish checking my 2023 tax return in a few months.

Daniel made a good point, I am in canton of Geneva

I checked the link, indeed it mentions the interest applies to federal direct tax, I am just not sure if it applies to both the provisional and final tax bill/invoice

Yes, for federal taxes, the interest also applies to provisional tax bills. For state and communal taxes there are big differences among cantons.

See Verordnung des EFD über Fälligkeit und Verzinsung der direkten Bundessteuer

Die Zinspflicht beginnt 30 Tage:

a. nach der Zustellung der definitiven oder provisorischen Rechnung;

If the provisional invoice is significantly too high, you can ask for a reduced provisional tax bill. As you’ve already filed your tax declaration, you should at least approximately know how high the final tax bill should be. If the provisional tax bill isn’t too high, I’d suggest paying it on time, even if you have to take up a short-term IBKR margin loan.


FYI it takes ~1 week to get the updated federal tax bill in canton ZH (you receive it by post).

(I usually ask for an update with my real tax income since I’ve submitted my tax report by the time I get the bill)

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