Provisional taxes

I’ve got some mail in the post these last week that talk about provisional taxes for gemeinde, canton and federal state for last year.

I used to throw these in the bin previously (until the final invoice came approx. a year later), but now the language has changed and it has a deadline to pay by 31.03.2023 and some warnings about late payment interests.

Would anyone know if we need to pay the provisional tax, respectively would it be a penalty if I’m not paying something that’s not yet final?

This depends on the canton. In some cantons you only have to pay a low interest rate (Ausgleichszins) for late payment. In other cantons even payment of provisional tax bills is enforced. It may also differ between state and federal taxes.

E.g. in ZH you typically don’t have to pay provisional state tax bills but you have to pay provisional federal tax bills. Provisional federal tax bills are sent after the tax year, though, unlike provisional state tax bills.

And your canton is? ZH?

yes Kt ZH, City ZH too.

The text is:

“Sie erhalten die provisorische Rechnung für die Direkte Bundessteuer für das Steuerjahr 2022. Die Steuer wird am 1.3.2023 fällig und ist zahlbar zahlbar innert 30 Tagen bis 31. März 2023. Auf nicht fristgemäss geleistete Zahlungen ist ein Verzugszins geschuldet”.

So practically I think I can throw this out as long as I’m happy with the late payment interests, but I didn’t want to get minuspoints in our ongoing naturalization process. :wink:

March 31 in ZH is the deadline for federal taxes. This one should really not be ignored because this is a Rechnung (provisory bill).

For Canton and Gemeinde taxes I think interests are due after September 30 and earlier payments get interests. This is a Zahlungsempfehlung (recommendation to pay).

Mind that Verzugszins is not the same as Ausgleichzins. The interests due if not paying federal taxes by March 31 (Verzugszins) can be much higher than Ausgleichzinsen and it is probably not worth it.


That’s the one you really want to pay (unlike the city + canton).


‘Verzugszins’ for federal taxes is currently 4% p.a.

It seems ‘Betreibung’ can’t happen for provisional tax bills.

Ausgeschlossen ist grundsätzlich auch die Betreibung bei bloss provisorischer Berechnung, da hier keine rechtskräftige Veranlagung besteht. Ausnahmen: Kantone LU und AG für rechtskräftige provisorische Veranlagungen (d.h. gegen die keine Einsprache erhoben wurde).

This quote is from

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In this case I rather recommend to pay all incoming provisional tax bills as soon as you get them. The fact that you are late in your tax payments could be a serious negative point in your naturalisation process.

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so nice of them to not say the interest rate. :confused:
thanks for the advice, it shall be paid tonigh then.

I’m de facto not late if it’s a provisorium, am I?

They do. It’s a whopping 0%. :wink:
Zinssätze / Höchstabzüge Säule 3a bei der Direkten Bundessteuer| ESTV (

During that period, I’d for sure pay the provisory bill on time.
I’ve heard of municipalities that automatically refuse the naturalisation procedure if one of their bills is still outstanding.

Remember what asymmetric risk is? Do you want to risk your naturalisation for a fistful of dollars?


I know I know… Already paid :wink: