Is Drafting an individual Tax declaration for someone else a licensed business?

Im exploring a business idea helping people to find someone who could fill the tax declaration for them.
should one have a license or special certification for that?


You probably shouldn’t be asking on a forum :slight_smile:

(though I’d be surprised if you do need one, you’re just connecting with people, they’re probably the one of the hook for that).

No, and anyone is free to provide professional tax advice in Switzerland.

That is actually kind of crazy considering that in any case, you are always legally accountable and liable for your tax filing, even if you outsourced it. Makes it quite tricky to trust.

This is actually valid for all jurisdictions I’m aware of.
And even with special agreements it is still not transferrable

Is this really the case? I mean if you provide financial advice, you have to be a CFA (I think). Hence all the people claiming on financial blogs and youtube that their recommendations are not financial advice and only the personal opinion of the author.

So I’m surprised that anyone can just offer professional tax advice in Switzerland, without being held accountable? If so - I’ll start a new business tomorrow :sunglasses:

No paper needed. Open your business!


Yes. CFA is a private association and has nothing to do with that.

Clients will be holding you accountable.

I’m still very surprised by that! I mean why do we have tax advisors then? Who are charging a lot of money btw. Plus there are official certifications available (Treuhänder mit eidgenössischem Fachausweis etc.)

So I can just set up a landing page, buy some LinkedIn/Facebook ads and promote myself as the “best swiss tax advisor ever”? Can it be THAT easy? For a lot of businesses, you need to have a proper qualification or certification. Also still not convinced about the liability stuff.

Some titles are protected and you can’t use them to advertise yourself. I don’t know if “tax advisor” is a protected title or not in Switzerland.

Why not? Why should everything be regulated ad absurdum? Why can’t the customer decide by themselves whether they want to use an unqualified person to help with their taxes for maybe 50 CHF or a qualified advisor that charges 2 or 3 times the price? If you have a simple tax declaration you don’t really need a specialist for that.

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I was actually thinking of getting a Treühander certification but I still couldn’t figure out how? (could you share some info?) I have a foreign diploma of accountant and MBA.

Drafting a declaration and giving advise on optimising taxes or assets management are somewhat different things, I`d assume.

do you know how much a BIG4 advisor imposed by employer for my 1st tax ridiculously simple declaration charged?
2500 CHF. it was treated as an income as paid by employer… that is dual robbery, Id assume.

that is true. and there are so many people who struggle with e.g. Deutsch and thus like me had to oooooverpay…

Please note that I’m not an expert in this topic. Yes, I know a lot of topics related to it (due to my own companies and being interested in general in taxes), but by no means I’m really qualified to give advice.

I searched a little bit, and it seems that you need to study 4 or 5 semesters to gain the “Treuhänder mit eidg. Fachausweis”. All the links I found are in German only unfortunately: Berufsberatung, Traumberuf Treuhand and Aus- und Weiterbildung

Treuhandsuisse might be a good option to contact. I’m not sure though if they would accept your foreign diploma.

Welcome to Switzerland :upside_down_face: In general, tax declarations as a private person in Switzerland are fairly easy. You can also buy Dr. Tax, which is the software a lot of tax advisors are also using.

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In Switzerland anyone can provide tax advice or prepare tax returns. But only lawyers can represent you in courts. Then there is the title of “Swiss Certified Tax Expert” which is protected and awards highly-skilled and hard-working experts to distinguish them from the pack.

Tax is easy until it isn’t (when you have multiple sources of income and various classes of assets or properties abroad -sometime held indirectly through entities or trusts, all the deductions you can imagine, self-employment, lump-sum taxation, cross-borders issues with complex tax systems such as in the US or Germany, litigation with the tax authorities, changes in circumstances during the tax year, etc.).

And again the CFA Institute is totally private. Look at FINRA or the SEC if you want to know more as to why all those disclaimers (in the US since that’s what you are referring to).

This is where 95% of Swiss tax advisors also fail, btw. If you are coming with a non-usual setup, they often don’t have the knowledge. At least that’s from my own experience, and a friend who matches almost all of the criteria you stated above.

Hence my question if anyone can provide advice. I learnt a lot of things by myself already, because tax advisors either didn’t know, or only could answer a few questions. Which meant I was checking the stuff myself, to understand it. If this could be a business, I could definitely offer services.

You are right. CFA is something different indeed. It just popped up in my mind because some people in this forum mentioned it before.

It would be strange if it would be a requirement for being able to provide advice, because the CFA is not an entry level certification and becoming a charterholder is usually an effort of several years and requires a considerable amount of work experience. It’s definitely a very advanced certification and not an easy one. In some companies it is a requirement to become a partner or associate partner similarly like having a CPA to become a partner in the big consulting / auditing companies.

Your best tax advisor is yourself. Take the time and read the PDF from Tax department.
Additionnally, do not forget that you can send questions for free to the tax department of your canton.

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