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  #21  
Old 09.02.2016, 14:31
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Re: Thinking of moving from London to Zurich...some questions

Fantastic feedback and info. Thanks ssiws!

What is the deal with the tv licence billag thing? We use itunes. We don't watch any tv or listen to any radio at all on any device. Do we honestly have to pay 400 CHF a year just because we own devices capable of watching and listening?!
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  #22  
Old 09.02.2016, 14:35
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Re: Thinking of moving from London to Zurich...some questions

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Fantastic feedback and info. Thanks ssiws!

What is the deal with the tv licence billag thing? We use itunes. We don't watch any tv or listen to any radio at all on any device. Do we honestly have to pay 400 CHF a year just because we own devices capable of watching and listening?!
Yup!So long as the devices mentioned are CAPABLE of receiving TV/radio signals you have to pay for them. If you can prove otherwise to the authorities then you don't. Might be hard to do that with a normal off-the-shelf type of tv that you probably have.
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  #23  
Old 09.02.2016, 14:39
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Re: Thinking of moving from London to Zurich...some questions

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Fantastic feedback and info. Thanks ssiws!

What is the deal with the tv licence billag thing? We use itunes. We don't watch any tv or listen to any radio at all on any device. Do we honestly have to pay 400 CHF a year just because we own devices capable of watching and listening?!
Yes.

What is a receiving device?

Any device via which you can watch television or listen to the radio. Examples include:
  • radios (including car radios and alarm clock radios), mobile phones with radio reception and computers with internet access, television and or TV-Box with integrated radio reception
  • televisions, mobile phones with TV reception and computers (including tablets) with internet access if you have an account (including free accounts) with an internet television provider
https://www.billag.ch/private/faq/

As bature says, if you can in some way prove you don't watch TV or listen to the radio you might not have to pay.
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  #24  
Old 09.02.2016, 14:44
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Re: Thinking of moving from London to Zurich...some questions

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Why? Because of the costs of dining out? Or because you can't find the cuisines I mentioned in restaurants?
Cost of fruit and vegetables in CH is extremely high [excellent quality yes, but outrageous in our opinion].
For example one week not so long ago, aubergines {egg-plant} were on special offer here at our local Lidl in Evian-les-Bains. Same week, cost seen in Migros just up the road from here but round the corner in Swizerland, CHF4.99 for the same. It's not always like that of course, but this is an example which sticks out in our memory.
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Old 09.02.2016, 14:44
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Re: Thinking of moving from London to Zurich...some questions

TECHNICALLY so long as the authorities cannot PROVE that you have said devices in your home then you do not have to pay for the Billag. When they ask you NICELY per post if you do actually have such devices and you give them false info then you'll have to pay a big fine IF they eventually find out otherwise.
There have been recorded situations where people in Switzerland have denied the possession of such devices AND have prevented Billag officials from inspecting their premises, or were never at home for such an inspection to take place. And so never had to pay the Billag charges.
One can turn everything into a cat-and-mouse thing, might turn out to be fun...or not.
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  #26  
Old 09.02.2016, 14:53
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Re: Thinking of moving from London to Zurich...some questions

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Cost of fruit and vegetables in CH is extremely high [excellent quality yes, but outrageous in our opinion].
For example one week not so long ago, aubergines {egg-plant} were on special offer here at our local Lidl in Evian-les-Bains. Same week, cost seen in Migros just up the road from here but round the corner in Swizerland, CHF4.99 for the same. It's not always like that of course, but this is an example which sticks out in our memory.
Yes, but Aldi and Lidl in Switzerland always have better prices than Migros or Coop and quality is just as good so not just a country difference.
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  #27  
Old 09.02.2016, 15:03
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Re: Thinking of moving from London to Zurich...some questions

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There's a great factory seconds shop in Oerlikon where I got all our towels. Even got an Egyptian cotton bath sheet for CHF 15.
Where is this shop exactly? I am sure other people would benefit from this information.
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  #28  
Old 09.02.2016, 15:14
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Cost of fruit and vegetables in CH is extremely high [excellent quality yes, but outrageous in our opinion].
For example one week not so long ago, aubergines {egg-plant} were on special offer here at our local Lidl in Evian-les-Bains. Same week, cost seen in Migros just up the road from here but round the corner in Swizerland, CHF4.99 for the same. It's not always like that of course, but this is an example which sticks out in our memory.
So how much were they in Evian-les-Bains?

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Yes.

What is a receiving device?

Any device via which you can watch television or listen to the radio. Examples include:
  • radios (including car radios and alarm clock radios), mobile phones with radio reception and computers with internet access, television and or TV-Box with integrated radio reception
  • televisions, mobile phones with TV reception and computers (including tablets) with internet access if you have an account (including free accounts) with an internet television provider
https://www.billag.ch/private/faq/

As bature says, if you can in some way prove you don't watch TV or listen to the radio you might not have to pay.
Cool, thanks. Might do something to destroy the TV receiving capability of the Samsung 46" screen that we use to watch stuff on. We watch stuff form itunes/netflix which we pay for so I don't see a need to pay again. Literally no need for a tv receiver and don't have any accounts for internet tv.

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12. We have a small online business that involves shipping items out to customers worldwide. Are postage costs in line with everything else in Switz? Ie. expensive compared with the UK?

Postage cost is a KILLER!

It cost from CH to CH 9CHF to send a book just because it was "heavy".

Don't know if "deals" can be made with post, though.
Thanks for the reply. Interesting post.ch seems to be very reasonable for the items that we ship! They are large but lightweight items. Too large to sent by Royal Mail so we need to use courier services most of the time but post.ch appears to have a very generous size limit (150 x 60 x 60 ) which is more than enough for our products. Costs look to be roughly on par with the courier services we use.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 17.02.2016 at 22:56. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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  #29  
Old 09.02.2016, 15:49
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Re: Thinking of moving from London to Zurich...some questions

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Where is this shop exactly? I am sure other people would benefit from this information.
It's called M.Rubinfeld and is opposite C&A on the corner of Nansenstrasse and Ohmstrasse in Oerlikon. I got really good quality hand towels for CHF5 each, bath sheet for CHF 15 and tea towels for CHF1 and CHF2 each. The rest of the shop is women's clothes (a little old for my taste) and window dressings.

Their supply is a bit hit and miss. OH pointed out that I always buy towels before anything else when we move. Must have dozens in the UK but didn't have space to pack any.
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  #30  
Old 09.02.2016, 15:57
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Re: Thinking of moving from London to Zurich...some questions

So, regarding taxation. I understand that the different Cantons have different rates. It seems clear from this link that one pays the least tax living in Zug. So it therefore makes sense to live in Zug if that is suitable for commuting to one's workplace.

So are rental prices higher in Zug due to the lower income tax rate? And are rental prices really low in the areas that have high taxation rates? Or what? Am I missing something?
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Old 09.02.2016, 16:00
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Re: Thinking of moving from London to Zurich...some questions

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So, regarding taxation. I understand that the different Cantons have different rates. It seems clear from this link that one pays the least tax living in Zug. So it therefore makes sense to live in Zug if that is suitable for commuting to one's workplace.

So are rental prices higher in Zug due to the lower income tax rate? And are rental prices really low in the areas that have high taxation rates? Or what? Am I missing something?
Yes tax rates are less, as such very many people want and try to live in Zug. You can imagine the rent demanded in an area where the demand for apartments is really, really, really high. On the other hand, Zug is a very beautiful town with very modern infrastructure and a very large amount of expats...
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  #32  
Old 09.02.2016, 16:00
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Re: Thinking of moving from London to Zurich...some questions

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7. smartphone plans. In the UK I pay £20 a month for unlimited minutes, texts and 3GB of data. No contract or commitment. Anything comparable in Switz?
Nope. Mobile contracts cost a fortune here compared to the UK. I have unlimited calls and texts within Switzerland and 1GB of data, 12 month contract, no phone, for 39 francs a month.. and that's the cheapest I could get. Checkout Swisscom, Salt and Sunrise for prices.
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  #33  
Old 09.02.2016, 16:03
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Re: Thinking of moving from London to Zurich...some questions

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Cool, thanks. Might do something to destroy the TV receiving capability of the Samsung 46" screen that we use to watch stuff on. We watch stuff form itunes/netflix which we pay for so I don't see a need to pay again. Literally no need for a tv receiver and don't have any accounts for internet tv.


Not to bang this point in again, but if you have Netflix/iTunes, you will have to pay Billag. If you have any internet, you pay Billag.


The benefits of media in Switzerland exist though. Downloading copyrighted material (music, movies, TV shows etc.) is allowed--so go crazy streaming whatever stuff you want for free!
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  #34  
Old 09.02.2016, 16:22
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Re: Thinking of moving from London to Zurich...some questions

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So, regarding taxation. I understand that the different Cantons have different rates. It seems clear from this link that one pays the least tax living in Zug. So it therefore makes sense to live in Zug if that is suitable for commuting to one's workplace.
Homegate has a useful tool where you can look at a house details then click on the tax calculator on the lower right hand side.

A couple of questions for you if I may?

Will your wife be working in central Zurich?

Have you joined Homegate, etc yet?

I made a shortlist of the apartments I wanted a month before we left the UK and we're currently in the 2nd choice one, which turned out to be the best of the three I viewed.
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Old 09.02.2016, 16:36
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Re: Thinking of moving from London to Zurich...some questions

Hi Blueangel, no we haven't joined anything yet. We will likely have a relocation agent provided by the company. Do we still need to join Homegate do you think?

Yes - my wife's job is in central Zurich.

Is there some type of calculator where you can type in your gross income and it works out the best area for you based on tax rate and rent prices in the area?
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  #36  
Old 09.02.2016, 16:53
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Re: Thinking of moving from London to Zurich...some questions

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Hi Blueangel, no we haven't joined anything yet. We will likely have a relocation agent provided by the company. Do we still need to join Homegate do you think?

Yes - my wife's job is in central Zurich.

Is there some type of calculator where you can type in your gross income and it works out the best area for you based on tax rate and rent prices in the area?
There is no tax difference within the city of Zurich. Same everywhere. The only difference is between different communes/Gemeinden.

Google Quellensteuer Zurich. You will be taxed at the source (up until an income of 120k p.a.) Actually, there may even be no difference for that tax within the canton at all, but I'm not sure.

You will HAVE to pay Billag even if you never watch TV or listen to the radio. Having a device (even so much as a tiny radio or a car radio) is sufficient. Obviously you can try to find a loophole, but if they find out, you're probably gonna have to pay all missed previous payments as well.
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  #37  
Old 09.02.2016, 16:59
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Re: Thinking of moving from London to Zurich...some questions

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Google Quellensteuer Zurich. You will be taxed at the source (up until an income of 120k p.a.) Actually, there may even be no difference for that tax within the canton at all, but I'm not sure.

You will HAVE to pay Billag even if you never watch TV or listen to the radio.
I think you're right regarding the tax because, if I understand this correctly (and please feel free to say if I'm totally wrong) are Auslanders taxed the same regardless of where they live? We've got a tax code AO, which I think is Auslander tax.

Quick question regarding the Billag please. OH lived here before for a few years and tells me we should wait until they send us a bill. I'm more inclined to contact them and get it sorted. Who's right?
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  #38  
Old 09.02.2016, 17:04
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Re: Thinking of moving from London to Zurich...some questions

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So, regarding taxation. I understand that the different Cantons have different rates. It seems clear from this link that one pays the least tax living in Zug. So it therefore makes sense to live in Zug if that is suitable for commuting to one's workplace.

So are rental prices higher in Zug due to the lower income tax rate? And are rental prices really low in the areas that have high taxation rates? Or what? Am I missing something?
If you'll be working in Zürich I'm pretty sure you won't want to live in sleepy Zug. The tax benefits on 100,000 will be small and will be more than offset by higher rent and commute costs.

There's plenty of nice apartments within 10 mins of central ZH by public transport for less than 2000 a month. My commute to K5 takes 8 mins by bike, 15 by foot and tram or 25 by foot alone and I pay less than 1800 for a large 2.5 apartment with balcony overlooking the river.

Re the salary, you'll be fine and will be earning way over the Swiss average for a family with kids. I'd say your standard of living will be much higher than London. Mush less stress here, a small city that you can walk around and the rest of Europe on your doorstep.

Re flights, I fly once a month to Holland, flights with Swiss are between 120.00 and 150.00 CHF return depending on demand, and in April I'll be flying Swiss to New York for 650.00 return (inc paying extra for choosing best seats), that seems pretty cheap to me. But as others have said, check out flights from Basel too, only an hour away by train and more Easy Jet flights.
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  #39  
Old 09.02.2016, 17:08
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Re: Thinking of moving from London to Zurich...some questions

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Hi Blueangel, no we haven't joined anything yet. We will likely have a relocation agent provided by the company. Do we still need to join Homegate do you think?

Yes - my wife's job is in central Zurich.
Sorry. I don't know how relocation agents operate, so I don't know if they choose a place for you,go after the place you like the look of or just get you into a serviced apartment for a month or so. OH left it all to me to sort out, and the feedback he got from his employer was that we were settled much faster than some of his other colleagues.

We flew in on 8th November and moved into our apartment on 1st December. If it weren't for having to work my notice and my employer being short staffed, I'd have been over here doing the viewings, etc.

I'm sure other members will be able to advise you far better on this.
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Old 09.02.2016, 17:42
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Re: Thinking of moving from London to Zurich...some questions

Most of the questions you asked have been answered, but on the equivalent of CHF 150,000 p.a. you should be able to have a better standard of living than that in the UK.

It is quite common to receive a 13th month salary in Switzerland, so that may be extra or included I'm not sure. Health insurance is expensive, but don't forget even if you're on the NHS you're still paying in the UK thanks to NI deductions - so it's not true healthcare is free (unless you're unemployed, pensioner etc). It is not usual for the employer to pay this but some do.

However, Swiss healthcare is far superior to that in the UK. You won't have to wait a week for an appointment and if you have a non urgent thing to fix you won't have to wait a year during which time the ailment will often turn into something more major. If you want fully private treatment, then try getting a quote from BUPA for the difference between the obligatory health insurance and for fully private. Having said that if you're healthy I wouldn't bother paying the extra as even basic care is better than NHS - and I speak from experience!

Dentistry is very expensive. My dentist has two private planes and a large property portfolio. But Germany is very reasonable so keep brushing the ivories and only go for check ups. Have any major work done back in the UK or Germany. I have mine done now in South Africa (I'm down south 5 months of the year). Swiss implant CHF 10,000 v SA Implant (which comes from Germany) CHF 600!!!

One big saving you'll likely make is on tax though I don't know the rates for Zurich. You'll also be able to offset part of the rent, if not all of it and run your car, phone etc through the company so all deductible. Car leasing is also considerably cheaper than the UK as is insurance, though it seems you will not be running a car.

If you need a car for the weekly shopping or a quick trip somewhere, then look here. Works wonderfully, though for longer trips car rental is cheaper.

https://www.sbb.ch/en/station-servic.../hire-car.html

Finally, and though likely years away, pension benefits are also much better than those in the UK as is invalid and accident insurance should something unfortunate happen to you.

Just a few more points to consider!
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