Environmental taxes

The accounts of environmentally related tax levies record the revenue from taxes, fees and other types of levy that increase the cost of goods, services and activities that have a proven negative impact on the environment.

Further information

Tables

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Data

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Methodologies

Data on revenue from environmentally related tax levies come from the monetary environmental accounts compiled by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO).

The term tax levies encompasses:

  • taxes paid without an individual service in return from the government (e.g. mineral oil tax);
  • fees paid for an individual service rendered in return from the government (e.g. communal fees for waste elimination);
  • mixed forms that cannot be clearly classified as taxes or fees or that are ordered by the government but collected by a private organisation (e.g. airport landing surtax);
  • private voluntary solutions, managed by sectoral associations and likely to become law if the environmental goals set are not achieved (e.g. prepaid recycling tax for PET bottles).

Data on revenue from environmentally related tax levies are grouped into the following four categories:

  • Energy (e.g. mineral oil tax),
  • Transport (e.g. motorway tax sticker),
  • Emissions (e.g. wastewater fees) and
  • Resources (e.g. water charges).

For revenue from environmentally related taxes, in line with the EUROSTAT method and to ensure national and international comparability, only taxes considered as such in the national accounts (NA) are included. Due to a change in classification in the 2020 revision of the NA, the heavy vehicle charge and the motorway charge sticker are no longer accounted for as taxes but as charges. Revenue from environmentally related tax revenue is calculated net of VAT, but includes the administrative costs linked to collection. Any tax refunds, cuts or exemptions from which some businesses benefit are taken into account. Revenue from environmentally related taxes comes from households and businesses that are resident in Switzerland and elsewhere. Estimates were made in cases where no information is available on the breakdown by economic activity (according to the General Classification of Economic Activities NOGA 2008). Revenue from environmentally related taxes can be fed into the governments overall budget (e.g. automobile tax), be allocated to finance environmental protection measures (e.g. charges for the remediation of contaminated sites) or other tasks (e.g. cantonal motor vehicle tax) or returned to the population and to businesses (e.g. incentive fee on volatile organic compounds (VOC) and part of the CO2 tax). Revenue from a single tax is sometimes used for different purposes (e.g. part of the mineral oil tax is fed into the government’s overall budget, part is allocated to funding road infrastructure and another part to funding environmental protection measures related to road traffic).

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Statistical sources and concepts

Contact

Federal Statistical Office Section Environment, Sustainable Development, Territory
Espace de l'Europe 10
CH-2010 Neuchâtel
Switzerland

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https://www.bfs.admin.ch/content/bfs/en/home/statistics/territory-environment/environmental-accounting/environmental-taxes.html