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  #41  
Old 20.07.2015, 08:50
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

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FTFY.

Tom
I feel sorry for all the families that have to move. Blackmailed into doing this perhaps?

Bloody hell I feel very lucky to be so safe (thinking of the kids) in many ways here in SUI. Little too safe and quiet sometimes though.
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  #42  
Old 21.07.2015, 08:45
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

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What nonsense! Of course they do pay taxes in Switzerland (to their advantage!) and must apply for health insurance! http://www.news.admin.ch/NSBSubscrib...ents/33171.pdf http://www.jgk.be.ch/jgk/de/index/pr...%C3%A4nder.pdf
I didn't state that they didn't contribute, I said 'barely'! It's not nonsense, it's how it effectively is.
They obviously contribute much less compared to residents here and they have much lower living costs in general than residents of Switzerland.

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If someone wants to take up work in Switzerland, shouldn't it be that they also live here?

No. If you live in the region, is acquainted with the place, have your network, etc, and still cannot compete for the job with a foreigner, than it's your fault and not his/her.

Also keep in mind that there are many Italian companies that moved operations to Ticino despite the higher wages.
And so meanwhile Switzerland has to pay out billions of francs in benefits (unemployment, social welfare, health insurance premium reductions) to the residents who are out of work and/or don't have enough to live off because it is 'better to give the jobs' to residents of a bordering country?
Something not quite right there!

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  #43  
Old 21.07.2015, 09:02
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

Sometimes it is self perpetuating. In Basel a lot of shop workers are from the Alsace side of the border - and it is pretty much a closed shop (no pun intended) with applicants from the Swiss side of the border never considered.

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because it is 'better to give the jobs' to residents of a bordering country?
Something not quite right there!
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  #44  
Old 21.07.2015, 09:28
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

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Sometimes it is self perpetuating. In Basel a lot of shop workers are from the Alsace side of the border - and it is pretty much a closed shop (no pun intended) with applicants from the Swiss side of the border never considered.
Disgraceful. It should be made illegal, although perhaps difficult to control/regulate.

A threshold could be introduced whereby if unemployment rises above a certain % then no more G-permits can be issued.

Or maybe whilst job hunting I should simply use a German address on my applications...
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  #45  
Old 21.07.2015, 09:35
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

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If in 2 years you have only had 2-3 phone calls and 1 interview then this is surely a sign that you need to really put more effort in, or develop some additional relevant skills that will appeal to an employer in the industry you are interested in... if only because that is a statistically very low amount of responses to have in that space of time.

I hope that in this 2 years you used the opportunity to get your German up to C1 level or above, because that is what could at least get you some basic jobs to keep you busy and get some pocket money coming in while you work towards what you really want to do.
Yes it's that easy and simple. FYI I have completed my postgraduate and German C2 level in the last few yrs.

Anymore useful advice?
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Old 21.07.2015, 10:11
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

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I didn't state that they didn't contribute, I said 'barely'! It's not nonsense, it's how it effectively is.
They obviously contribute much less compared to residents here and they have much lower living costs in general than residents of Switzerland.
I see that sentence, and what I get from it is that the living costs in Switzerland are unreasonably high. It's not quite the difference in life between the USA and Mexico here - Germany and France are legitimate first world countries with high standards of living and functioning governments.
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Old 21.07.2015, 10:53
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

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I feel sorry for all the families that have to move.
But they don't move.

They commute from Italy, clog up the roads, and bring no new jobs for the locals.

Tom
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Old 21.07.2015, 11:52
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

Hi there and thanks so sending this post. Having also been out of work for the last two years and know how you feel here's what conclusions (not advise) I have come to;
1) A lot of people are embarrassed by the situation and don't want to talk about it, questions like "so hows work?" and "Oh that's right you're not working, so hows that going?"can be frustrating.
2) There are a lot expats who are unemployed, 6 of my friends husbands, I think that's pretty high.
3) No one likes to go on the RAV and no one I know has ever got a job through it, but it helps pay the bills.
4) There is a lot of support out there for families on low or no salaries, but I found it out by going down to the gemeinde one day and simply asking what are my rights.
5) It helps to have a friend who's going through the same thing.
6) If you don't have the German I think it really is a disadvantage.
7) There seems to be only two ways of getting a job here. Contacts and contacts.
8)Advanced study. I think it could be worth it, again if you can afford to go back and study.
9) Try to see it as a positive experience, one friend said he was happy that he could spend more time with his kids before he got his new job another stopped drinking and smoking and started meditating. Believe it or not you could actually find yourself in a happier place after this experience.
Good luck
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  #49  
Old 21.07.2015, 12:04
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

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Yes it's that easy and simple. FYI I have completed my postgraduate and German C2 level in the last few yrs.

Anymore useful advice?
I didn't say it that was easy or simple, but if you already have C2 German and still cannot find even any basic part-time job then something doesn't seem right somewhere along the line.
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Old 21.07.2015, 12:23
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

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I didn't state that they didn't contribute, I said 'barely'! It's not nonsense, it's how it effectively is.
They obviously contribute much less compared to residents here and they have much lower living costs in general than residents of Switzerland.



And so meanwhile Switzerland has to pay out billions of francs in benefits (unemployment, social welfare, health insurance premium reductions) to the residents who are out of work and/or don't have enough to live off because it is 'better to give the jobs' to residents of a bordering country?
Something not quite right there!
I do not generally argue against your general claim, but you post statements which are simply wrong. And you are wrong again!

Even though cross-border commuters do contribute to the Swiss unemployment insurance (IV/ALV), BUT are not entitled to get unemployment support fiancially-wise by the Swiss ALV!!!

And the Italian commuters are taxed exactly the same way as everybody else. Hardly negligible. And no, they do not get social walfare by any Swiss community (except for the potential premium reduction, but only if they actually decide to apply for the expensive Swiss health insurance, but hardly applicable, when they earn a regular wage!). However I agree, they have lower living costs, but north Italy is not that cheap. Further, their Italian communities still have to provide all communal services to them (infrastructure, social welfare, security, school, etc and so forth) though they are taxed by the Swiss communties.
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  #51  
Old 21.07.2015, 12:26
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

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Absolutely agree, however partner is working in busy job and the exceptional Swiss Childcare system means that I am tied to the house! Both of us not from here and so no family to fall back on. If I went working abroad, still wouldn't be able to afford daycare based on foreign salaries.
Tagesmutterstätten take school children over the noon period for about two hours, feed them, play games with them, etc., and then send them back to the school. They are often government subsidized and charge based on parents' income.

If that doesn't work and you need to be home during the day, you might wish to look at self-employment. I know people who work from home, some are focused on niche activities:
1) Bookkeeping/ financial organization for elderly people, accounting firm refers customers to him and word-of-mouth (business education but also self-taught)
2) Translates old documents, customer contact through website (self-taught)
3) Repairs old jewelry-like objects, customer contact through website (self-taught)
4) Creates art-objects according to her design and tradition, sells via internet store, apparently very successful (self-taught)
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Old 21.07.2015, 12:52
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

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[snip]

And the Italian commuters are taxed exactly the same way as everybody else. Hardly negligible. And no, they do not get social walfare by any Swiss community (except for the potential premium reduction, but only if they actually decide to apply for the expensive Swiss health insurance, but hardly applicable, when they earn a regular wage!). However I agree, they have lower living costs, but north Italy is not that cheap. Further, their Italian communities still have to provide all communal services to them (infrastructure, social welfare, security, school, etc and so forth) though they are taxed by the Swiss communties.
Not at all mate.

In the Doppelbesteuerungsabkomment from 1976 between CH and Italy, §15 says that, if employed by a swiss company, income earned by italian employees commuting cross-border gets taxed in CH only, based on the rate agreed upon by the two countries. TI gets 60% of the tax, Italy gets 40%. Swiss tax rates being what they are, that probably means considerable tax savings for the commuters.

The agreement is being overhauled, expected to be finalized and become effective soon.

I didn't find the tax rates themselves, admin.ch says to check TI documents. Source tax seems to be the same as for cross-border employees from FR, DE, AT.

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  #53  
Old 22.07.2015, 14:55
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

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In the Doppelbesteuerungsabkomment from 1976 between CH and Italy, §15 says that, if employed by a swiss company, income earned by italian employees commuting cross-border gets taxed in CH only, based on the rate agreed upon by the two countries.
Art. 15 means only they are taxed by source by the country where they work (https://www.admin.ch/opc/de/classifi...tion/19740225/). But the taxes (with some obvious exceptions, such as taxing of houses) are the same like with every expat, for example.

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TI gets 60% of the tax, Italy gets 38.8% (1985). Swiss tax rates being what they are, that probably means considerable tax savings for the commuters.
Of course, and very reasonable. Nevertheless they are taxed – more or less – the same way. And it only applies to communities in Italy that are close to the Swiss border (<20km)!

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Die Vereinbarung – wie auch das DBA-I – sieht eine Besteuerung der Grenzgängerinnen
und Grenzgänger am Arbeitsort vor. Die Schweiz hat jedoch in Anwendung der Vereinba-
rung aus dem Jahr 1974 das ausschliessliche Recht auf Besteuerung und in Italien ist keine
Besteuerung vorgesehen. Als Gegenleistung entrichten die betroffenen Kantone eine Aus-
gleichszahlung in der Höhe von 40 Prozent (durch eine 1985 eingeführte Änderung im Fall
10/15
des Kantons Tessin auf 38,8 % reduziert), berechnet auf den Bruttobeträgen der eingenom-
menen Quellensteuern. Endbegünstigte sind die italienischen Wohnsitzgemeinden der
Grenzgängerinnen und Grenzgänger.
Die anderen in Italien wohnhaften Arbeitnehmerinnen und Arbeitnehmer, die nicht unter die
erwähnte Vereinbarung fallen (also die Grenzgänger, die ausserhalb der 20-Kilometer-Zone
wohnen), unterliegen der Quellensteuer in der Schweiz, wobei diese Steuer gemäss den or-
dentlichen Bestimmungen der Artikel 15 und 24 DBA-I und dem jeweiligen Landesrecht den
in Italien zu entrichtenden Steuern angerechnet wird.
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  #54  
Old 22.07.2015, 15:22
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

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Of course, and very reasonable. Nevertheless they are taxed – more or less – the same way. And it only applies to communities in Italy that are close to the Swiss border (<20km)!
I'll have to ask my wife's cousin how it works in her case, as she is 40km from the border (Monza). Should be seeing her next Tuesday at her grandfather's 100th, otherwise I can PM her on Facebook.

Tom
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Old 22.07.2015, 17:07
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

I'll share some insight into this:

The move to Switzerland has broken me. In almost every way.

We originally moved here because of my wife's job. Its a permanent federal position and she has zero worries of ever being at a loss for work. That opportunity came at the expense of our otherwise balanced life in the states. There we had almost everything in equality with exception to her salary. In the states she was making a third of what she makes now (even after income adjustment). We did not move blindly. We considered the options and sadly relied on the opinions of others to gauge my ability to work in Switzerland. Misinformation is a bitch.

It turns out I'm essentially unemployable in this country. And even if I were a Swiss born, PhD holding, master of five languages...the chances of finding work are still slim at best due to the seeming inability to read a CV for its potential rather than its content. In a nut shell, before we moved we did not consider that actual geographic fact that switzerland is the water castle of europe. Guess what professions are not needed in switzerland? And guess what professions are exclusively reserved for locals?

The reality that I was no longer a valued scientist/engineer hit hard. Luckily I had some value to my former employer and still do get some side work from time to time. But its peanuts compared to what I used to earn. Needless to say...reality sank in after a few years here and despite trying every natural resource company I could find...not one company found my resume of interest. Not a surprise. I work in a uncommon field where there is barely a local demand.

Time warp to now. Unemployment and dealing with its issues is not easy. I have been shaken to the core. Im not even ashamed to say that I'm currently in therapy and being treated for severe depression. Loosing the means to support my family in a manner that I worked so hard to acheive has not been an easy thing to "just get over". There are only a few months where taking a hike can alleviate the pain of loosing one's way. At some point you break and every shitty thing in your life's past just seems to manifest into some other issue to deal with.

So what to do? My wife still has an excellent job and in totality we are not destitute. I did become self-employed and that has not been without issues either. Its irregular work and not nearly as demanding or satisfying as finding drinking water in the desserts of east africa (for example).

I've spent the last few months picking up the pieces and am still not too sure whats next. All i know is that being an unemployed expat in switzerland is not an easy position to be in emotionally. I don't wish this upon anyone and I caution any families who may be confronted by this type of situation.

I'd love to meet with other trailing husbands. I've yet to meet one in three years. Surely they exist. If for no other reason...forming some sort of support group or likewise could be a good thing. If anything, this whole experience has certainly taught me two things: humility and knowing when to ask for help.


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I don't think that people who are not in this situation can really comprehend how being unemployed for a long time affects a personality. Oh sure, you gig the the old "get up and go" advise, but after a time that has gotten up and left leaving you with nothing, no future that can be seen, no hope that it will get any better, learn additional skills, pray tell me what, "oh any" so you learn a skill only to find that despite you research beforehand nobody is interested in your spanking brand new skill because the next question is gonna be "do you have at least three years experience?"
At some point you fall into depression, you start to have panic attacks at night, and I mean that every night you think you going to die, literally gonna die, your heart beat is irregular, a searing pain in your chest, your limbs are painful, the room you are in expands and contracts, expands and contracts, expands and contracts all night long. Your hair starts to fall out your skin cracks and breaks leaving your hands a bloody mess, your doctor tells you that you need treatment, gives you some pills that makes you lethargic, after a few months of this you are no longer able to function in a normal way.
It takes the greatest of effort simply to get up, feed yourself, wash yourself, get dressed.
Forget the "I'm gonna get a job today" attitude, you know there isn't a job at the end of the rainbow, there is nothing only the same nightly panic attacks and the next day there is still no job to be found, repeat for months and months and months.
You no longer want to be under people, you disconnect yourself from your friends with or without jobs, no longer talk to people, no longer want to talk to people, you look down when you walk in the street, avoid crowds.
In short you are sliding downwards into a hole and you can't stop because there is nothing to hold onto, the thing is that you realize that once you are in the hole there is not way out, never, ever again, most resign themselves to the hole, only a few manage to get out and save themselves at the very last minute, but the cost is great.
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Old 22.07.2015, 17:48
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

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I'll share some insight into this:

The move to Switzerland has broken me. In almost every way.

We originally moved here because of my wife's job. Its a permanent federal position and she has zero worries of ever being at a loss for work. That opportunity came at the expense of our otherwise balanced life in the states. There we had almost everything in equality with exception to her salary. In the states she was making a third of what she makes now (even after income adjustment). We did not move blindly. We considered the options and sadly relied on the opinions of others to gauge my ability to work in Switzerland. Misinformation is a bitch.

It turns out I'm essentially unemployable in this country. And even if I were a Swiss born, PhD holding, master of five languages...the chances of finding work are still slim at best due to the seeming inability to read a CV for its potential rather than its content. In a nut shell, before we moved we did not consider that actual geographic fact that switzerland is the water castle of europe. Guess what professions are not needed in switzerland? And guess what professions are exclusively reserved for locals?

The reality that I was no longer a valued scientist/engineer hit hard. Luckily I had some value to my former employer and still do get some side work from time to time. But its peanuts compared to what I used to earn. Needless to say...reality sank in after a few years here and despite trying every natural resource company I could find...not one company found my resume of interest. Not a surprise. I work in a uncommon field where there is barely a local demand.

Time warp to now. Unemployment and dealing with its issues is not easy. I have been shaken to the core. Im not even ashamed to say that I'm currently in therapy and being treated for severe depression. Loosing the means to support my family in a manner that I worked so hard to acheive has not been an easy thing to "just get over". There are only a few months where taking a hike can alleviate the pain of loosing one's way. At some point you break and every shitty thing in your life's past just seems to manifest into some other issue to deal with.

So what to do? My wife still has an excellent job and in totality we are not destitute. I did become self-employed and that has not been without issues either. Its irregular work and not nearly as demanding or satisfying as finding drinking water in the desserts of east africa (for example).

I've spent the last few months picking up the pieces and am still not too sure whats next. All i know is that being an unemployed expat in switzerland is not an easy position to be in emotionally. I don't wish this upon anyone and I caution any families who may be confronted by this type of situation.

I'd love to meet with other trailing husbands. I've yet to meet one in three years. Surely they exist. If for no other reason...forming some sort of support group or likewise could be a good thing. If anything, this whole experience has certainly taught me two things: humility and knowing when to ask for help.
As the trailing husband with PhD and work-ex in scientific field I can clearly see my future in CH. I am just hoping that the startup scene as well as funding picks up and I can start my own company. Until then it's batshit-crazy depressing.
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Old 22.07.2015, 18:06
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

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I'd love to meet with other trailing husbands. I've yet to meet one in three years. Surely they exist. If for no other reason...forming some sort of support group or likewise could be a good thing. If anything, this whole experience has certainly taught me two things: humility and knowing when to ask for help.
London and Brussels have STUDS clubs ("Spouses Trailing Under Duress Successfully") for trailing male spouses:

http://www.studsoflondon.org.uk/

http://www.belgiumstuds.be/?q=node/3

Possibly an idea for Zurich and Geneva.
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Old 22.07.2015, 19:40
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

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I do not generally argue against your general claim, but you post statements which are simply wrong. And you are wrong again!

And the Italian commuters are taxed exactly the same way as everybody else. Further, their Italian communities still have to provide all communal services to them (infrastructure, social welfare, security, school, etc and so forth) though they are taxed by the Swiss communties.
No, again, this is simply not true. Cross-border commuters contribute much less as Switzerland receives much less in taxes from a cross-border worker than if the worker is resident here!

Moreover the fact that Italian municipalities have to provide services to their own residents has no bearing whatsoever on the issue. The fact remains that to the Swiss purse, cross-border workers contribute far less!

Example: most cross border commuters travel to work by car, using Swiss roads, yet they do not pay road tax to the Swiss authorities.
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Old 22.07.2015, 22:26
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

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Moreover the fact that Italian municipalities have to provide services to their own residents has no bearing whatsoever on the issue. The fact remains that to the Swiss purse, cross-border workers contribute far less!
Maybe the fact that Swiss municipalities/cantons do not have to provide schools, hospitals, garbage collection etc. to frontaliers has a bearing on this ?
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Old 23.07.2015, 01:45
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Re: Unemployed in Switzerland

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No, again, this is simply not true. Cross-border commuters contribute much less as Switzerland receives much less in taxes from a cross-border worker than if the worker is resident here!

Moreover the fact that Italian municipalities have to provide services to their own residents has no bearing whatsoever on the issue. The fact remains that to the Swiss purse, cross-border workers contribute far less!

Example: most cross border commuters travel to work by car, using Swiss roads, yet they do not pay road tax to the Swiss authorities.

The crossborder workers use the public services in their Italian towns and villages but buy lunch and petrol in Switzerland


The companies rent or purchase building space in Switzerland and pay many fees in Switzerland, and add to the Swiss Gross Social Product. But save on taxes which are lower on the Swiss side.
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