On 20 July, the French and Swiss governments announced that the tax agreement would end on 31 August.
Based on information from the federal authorities, we have now learned that given the rise of COVID-19 cases both in Switzerland and France, the tax agreement is extended intil 31 December this year.In May, the French and Swiss governments issued details of a provisional mutual agreement concerning cross-border workers who would otherwise have lost their cross-border tax status due to government- imposed travel restrictions. The countries agreed to apply the same tax treatment to cross-border workers as if they had physically crossed the border to go to their usual place of work, despite working from home.
The provisions of the agreement took effect from 14 March 2020 and would apply until travel restrictions between the two countries were lifted.
On 20 July, the French and Swiss governments announced that the terms of this agreement would end on 31 August given the improved health situation in July.
Cases of COVID-19 have risen during August, giving rise to concerns that putting an end to the mutual tax agreement could mean that many cross- border workers might travel into Switzerland in order to avoid generating a French tax liability for themselves and a possible additional reporting obligation for their employer.
We have now received confirmation that as a result, the Swiss and French tax authorities have agreed to extend the terms of the agreement until the end of this year.
This does not come as a surprise in light of the evolving COVID-19 situation and news that France has already extended similar COVID-19 cross-border agreements with Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany. Tax and social security affiliation for cross-border workers is based on where work is performed. An extension of the temporary agreement should be applauded, but if the current COVID-19 situation continues for some time, governments may need to find an alternative tax arrangement.
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