Lower value added tax rates as a tax subsidy – Evaluation of the reduced rate for food and related sectors

Key facts

The Swiss Federal Audit Office (SFAO) chose the reduced VAT rates as the subject of an evaluation, since they represent a largely untransparent form of subsidization. Foodstuffs constitute the highestturnover group of goods and services subject to the reduced tax rate. The SFAO carried out the evaluation in the framework of a working group of the organization of the highest-level audit authorities in Europe, which has also analyzed this issue. The results are of interest to the current legislative reform of the value added tax, one goal of which is to simplify the rate structure.