Safe Haven interest rates for the year 2024

If loans from Swiss companies to their shareholders or other related parties (loan receivables) do not bear sufficient interest, this constitute a monetary benefit to the extent of the underpayment of interest. Such monetary benefit may be subject to Swiss withholding tax as well as corporate income taxes.

If loans from shareholders or other related parties to Swiss companies (liability loans) are subject to excessive interest, this constitutes a payment in kind subject to WHT to the extent of the excessive interest as well as a hidden profit distribution to be offset for income tax purposes.

The Federal Tax Administration (FTA) publishes so-called safe haven interest rates annually. When applying these "official" interest rates, the FTA assumes without further proof that the interest paid is in line with market rates. The correct application of these safe haven interest rates therefore protects against negative surprises and, above all, creates legal and planning certainty for companies domiciled in Switzerland with regard to their financing activities. The interest rates applicable for 2024 were published online by the FTA in its annual circular on January 29, 2024 and January 30, 2024. The interest rates for loans in Swiss francs and for loans in foreign currencies granted by and to Swiss companies will remain at a persistently high level in 2024 compared to 2023.

Loans in Swiss francs from Swiss companies (loan receivables)

For equity-financed loans in Swiss francs that a Swiss company grants to its shareholders or other related parties, the FTA will continue to require a minimum interest rate of 1.5% (unchanged) in 2024.

For debt-financed loans, the minimum interest rate required by the FTA for 2024 corresponds - as in previous years - to the debt financing costs of the Swiss company plus a surcharge of 0.5% for loans up to CHF 10 million (or a surcharge of 0.25% for the amount in excess of CHF 10 million). These minimum interest requirements ensure a minimum net income from lending at the level of the Swiss company.

Loans in Swiss francs to Swiss companies (loan payables)

From January 1, 2024, loans to related parties in Swiss francs must bear interest of at least 1.5% if the loan is financed from equity (constant).

For loans received by a Swiss company from shareholders or other related parties, the SFTA allows maximum interest rates as follows:

  • Operating loans of up to CHF 1 million to a Swiss trading or manufacturing company in Swiss francs may bear interest at a maximum of 3.75% (constant) or a maximum of 2% (previously 2.25%) for loans of CHF 1 million or more.
  • Loans to holding and asset management companies may bear interest at a maximum of 3.25% (unchanged) or a maximum of 1.75% (previously 2%) from CHF 1 million.

Loans in foreign currencies from Swiss companies (loan receivables)

If loans are not granted in Swiss francs but in a foreign currency, other safe haven interest rates must be applied. The FTA publishes the permissible interest rates for the most common foreign currencies in a separate circular.

The interest rates for loans denominated in foreign currencies have largely fallen or remained stable compared to 2023. In contrast, the interest rate for loans in US dollars rose significantly from 3.75% to 4.25%.

‍Loans in foreign currencies to Swiss companies (loan payables)

The interest rates according to the table in the circular are applicable to loans from Swiss companies to shareholders or related parties. According to the FTA, the same spread (up to the equivalent of CHF 1 million 2.25% or 1.75%; from the equivalent of CHF 1 million 0.5% or 0.25%) can be taken into account for loans in foreign currency from shareholders or related parties to Swiss companies in accordance with the FTA circular on tax-recognized interest rates 2024 for loans in Swiss francs for so-called operating loans.

When applying the circulars, it should be noted that the safe haven interest rates are based on the respective interest period and not on the interest due date. For an annual interest due date of June 30, 2024, for example, an average rate of the safe haven interest rates for the years 2023 and 2024 applies.

Case study: Loan payable in USD

A natural person resident in New York is the sole shareholder of a Swiss manufacturing company. The shareholder grants the company an open-ended loan of USD 1 million in 2023 (assumption: exchange rate CHF-USD = 1:1) with interest due at the end of June (i.e. for the first time on June 30, 2024). The permissible interest rate for USD loans in accordance with Circular 2023 is 6% (i.e. 3.75% plus a spread of 2.25%), taking into account a spread similar to that for loans in Swiss francs. In contrast, the permissible interest rate for 2024 is 6.50% (i.e. 4.25% plus a spread of 2.25%).

The USD 1 million loan can therefore bear interest at a maximum of 6.25% [6% plus 6.50% divided by two] as of June 30, 2024 in accordance with the safe haven interest rates.


In contrast to the significant increase in permitted safe haven interest rates that we observed between 2022 and 2023, these have leveled off at a high level for 2024. One notable exception is the granting of loans in US dollars: Here the interest rate has risen conspicuously from 3.75% to 4.24%.