How are zero coupon bonds taxed?

I know that accumulating ETFs are taxed as if they were paying dividends/coupons, but what about zero coupon bonds? Are these taxed as capital gains and therefore are tax free?

I am looking into buying zero coupon EUR bonds.

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Here you’ll find the tax regulations for complex financial instruments, and here you can check individual securities for their specific tax values.

In short: If the income is predominantly one-time you’ll be fully taxed on it. Zerobonds are not interesting for a private Swiss investor.


I’ve tried to read the document (used Google translate because I don’t speak german), so probably I didn’t got everything from the document.

As far I understand, what matters it’s the return at emission. If most of the income is predominantly from interest when the bond is issued, then even if you buy it now you won’t be fully taxed, but just on dividends. So If buy some bonds that currently pay a lot at maturation date, but it wasn’t the case when they were emitted, I should get taxed just on interests, right?

In general I’d like to know if buying bonds (and not bonds ETF!) it’s a good strategy if I have a fixed date in the future (around 4 years) where I want my money available in cash, or I should consider something else.