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Old 12.12.2015, 18:45
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taxes when married, they are actually lower?

Hi,

I keep hearing how taxes, when married, seem to increase.

However, when looking at the official tables for Taxes at source, what one finds is the opposite, taxes for married people, even without kids are actually lower.

This is the form for single people:
http://www.steueramt.zh.ch/dam/finan...rif_2014_A.pdf

This is the one for married people:
http://www.steueramt.zh.ch/dam/finan...rif_2014_C.pdf


As you can see, at for example 12001chf would pay 13.31% on taxes at source if single, no kids(page 14 of the first from).
The same bracket if married has 12.08% tax (also page 14 of the second form) with no kids.

This seems to contradict the common wisdom that married couples have to pay more taxes.

Am I reading this wrong? Or missing some information?

Thanks!
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Old 12.12.2015, 19:02
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Re: taxes when married, they are actually lower?

It all depends on whether both people in the marriage are working or not and whether they are full time working.

After marriage as far as tax goes it is like you are treated as one person. So both earning for example 100,000chf each gives you a total of 200,000chf and you fall into this higher increment tax bracket and will pay together more tax.

If only one of you is working or one is not working / earning much then yes you probably will be paying together less tax.
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Old 12.12.2015, 19:14
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Re: taxes when married, they are actually lower?

2 percent points less for a non-working spouse and 0.5 percent points per child in Vaud.
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Old 13.12.2015, 12:10
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Re: taxes when married, they are actually lower?

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It all depends on whether both people in the marriage are working or not and whether they are full time working.

After marriage as far as tax goes it is like you are treated as one person. So both earning for example 100,000chf each gives you a total of 200,000chf and you fall into this higher increment tax bracket and will pay together more tax.

If only one of you is working or one is not working / earning much then yes you probably will be paying together less tax.

Well, this does not seem to be the case judging the documents above. The document C is precisely the one that deals with double earners. There is another one where only one party works, and there the taxes are even lower. But the one I linked is for married people where BOTH work.
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Old 13.12.2015, 12:29
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Re: taxes when married, they are actually lower?

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Well, this does not seem to be the case judging the documents above. The document C is precisely the one that deals with double earners. There is another one where only one party works, and there the taxes are even lower. But the one I linked is for married people where BOTH work.
The important point is, are you both working or is just one out of the 2 of you working?

It is important to understand that you as a couple after marriage are taxed as "one person" and the tax rates applied are for "one person". You only fill out one tax form as a married couple for example. This is how I understand Swiss tax.

If one person is earning 12,001chf per month before marriage and the same is true after marriage then yes you would end up paying less tax.
Taking your own PDF's tax rates you have provided:
Before marriage A0=13.70%
After marriage C0 = (Figure not really on PDF's provided but take this as a possible rate) 12.42%

If one person was earning 6,001chf and the other also earning 6,000chf, so both people working earning a total 12,001chf.

Then before marriage:
Each person treated individually: A0= 7.27%
Together after marriage tax rate is C0=12.42%

Clearly the people with one earner in the marriage is better off and the marriage where both are earning have "worse tax rates". Having children will impact the tax rates, often a reason why people won't marry until after having children.
Hope this helps to explain using your examples. Willing to be corrected if I have misunderstood - in fact this would make me happy as I am marrying next year and I'm expecting a big tax increase as we both work.

Last edited by a.j.b; 13.12.2015 at 12:43.
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Old 13.12.2015, 13:31
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Re: taxes when married, they are actually lower?

I think this is the crux:

¨It is important to understand that you as a couple after marriage are taxed as "one person" and the tax rates applied are for "one person¨ ¨

When I look at my own personal salary, and I look at my deduction, I see exactly the number that comes up on the C0 form. That means that my salary, and my wife´s salary are looked up on that table, but they are not combined and then taxed. Each of them is taxed independently, in agreement with the numbers in the ¨double earners married couple¨, which is the C form.

That is to say, that at no point is that ¨single person entity¨ really materialized.

If we were not married, the same exercise would have happened but looking at table A0 instead, where we would have been applied a higher tax rate to box of us.

Something is strange here...
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Old 14.12.2015, 07:56
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Re: taxes when married, they are actually lower?

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I think this is the crux:

¨It is important to understand that you as a couple after marriage are taxed as "one person" and the tax rates applied are for "one person¨ ¨

When I look at my own personal salary, and I look at my deduction, I see exactly the number that comes up on the C0 form. That means that my salary, and my wife´s salary are looked up on that table, but they are not combined and then taxed. Each of them is taxed independently, in agreement with the numbers in the ¨double earners married couple¨, which is the C form.

That is to say, that at no point is that ¨single person entity¨ really materialized.

If we were not married, the same exercise would have happened but looking at table A0 instead, where we would have been applied a higher tax rate to box of us.

Something is strange here...
You are looking at "Quellensteuer", taxation at the source. This needs to be done on a per head basis, as it is taken directly out of your pay check. This is however not how Swiss people pay their taxes. Swiss people file a tax return every year, and usually pay their taxes in two or three yearly payments. They do not have it taken out of their paycheck. And a married couple does file just one form, and is taxed jointly.

I would suggest you have someone do a normal tax calculation for you, as you will probably get some money back.
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Old 14.12.2015, 11:22
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Re: taxes when married, they are actually lower?

I agree with you. But would it make sense to have less taxes for married people in Quellensteuer but more taxes in the non-quellensteuer format?

In the end, both should pay the same taxes (if you file the tax declaration). Why would you apply a lower bracket if you are planning to tax more in the end?

It makes no sense!
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Old 14.12.2015, 11:32
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Re: taxes when married, they are actually lower?

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But would it make sense to have less taxes for married people in Quellensteuer but more taxes in the non-quellensteuer format?
No, it doesn't.

There is some political movement to get rid of the so called "marriage panalty". Most advanced an initiavtiv from CVP/PDC https://www.cvp.ch/heiratsstrafe-abschaffen . Unfortunalty, but unsuprisingly as it is from a Christian party, it couples the taxation issue with the gay marriage issues.
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Old 14.12.2015, 11:34
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Re: taxes when married, they are actually lower?

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I agree with you. But would it make sense to have less taxes for married people in Quellensteuer but more taxes in the non-quellensteuer format?

In the end, both should pay the same taxes (if you file the tax declaration). Why would you apply a lower bracket if you are planning to tax more in the end?

It makes no sense!
If you pay Quellensteuer you are likely paying to much taxes already. So they seem to overcharge singles more than couples...

The thing is, that in truth the "Heiratstraffe" has mostly indeed disappeared. But it still depends. The rules for cantonal taxes are different then for the federald taxes, and they are different in each canton. The Quellensteuer system simplifies things to a certain extent, but will tend to overcharge you.
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Old 14.12.2015, 11:45
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Re: taxes when married, they are actually lower?

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If you pay Quellensteuer you are likely paying to much taxes already. So they seem to overcharge singles more than couples...
In theory, apporx. half should pay more and approx. half should pay less.
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Old 14.12.2015, 12:20
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Re: taxes when married, they are actually lower?

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Swiss people file a tax return every year, and usually pay their taxes in two or three yearly payments. They do not have it taken out of their paycheck.
I generally pay three payments/year: local, cantonal, and federal (one each). And I haven't paid for the past two years, as I refuse to pay the provisional bills, and they haven't sent me the final bills yet.

Tom
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Old 14.12.2015, 13:08
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Re: taxes when married, they are actually lower?

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In theory, apporx. half should pay more and approx. half should pay less.
Slightly less than half paying more & halt paying less as some will pay exactly the same!
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Old 14.12.2015, 13:28
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Re: taxes when married, they are actually lower?

The adjustment amount for us between paying Quellensteuer as a married couple, both working, with three kids, and the tax return (we earn well under the 120K threshold but it's a long story why we still have to do tax returns).... was a whole 2chf in our favour...

As discussed many times, it varies from Canton to Canton and even Gemeinde to Gemeinde, so you can't say you will get less or more... it isn't exactly the same, but you don't necessarily end up worse (or better)...

Unless Switzerland changes it's de-facto laws, there will be a tax difference between a household with a married couple, and a household of an unmarried couple...but you would have to also look deeper to see how a married couple can maximise their deductions in other ways (especially if there are kids involved).

Personally, I like that we are taxed together...where I come from, there can be a difference in the 'in the pocket' amount depending on whether it is one spouse on a large income, or two on half that income... double-income low-earning families are quite often at a big disadvantage over a family where one partner earns a much larger salary and the other is not working.
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Old 14.12.2015, 13:37
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Re: taxes when married, they are actually lower?

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And I haven't paid for the past two years, as I refuse to pay the provisional bills, and they haven't sent me the final bills yet.
It's actually not a wise thing to refuse to pay the provisional bills. The Tax Office gives you a better interest rate than any bank.
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Old 14.12.2015, 14:03
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Re: taxes when married, they are actually lower?

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It's actually not a wise thing to refuse to pay the provisional bills. The Tax Office gives you a better interest rate than any bank.
Depends on the Canton. Ticino is just 0.25% (April 2015 data, mybe even lower by now)
http://www.moneyland.ch/de/steuern-voraus-zahlen
https://www.comparis.ch/steuern/steu...ng-zinsen.aspx

On the other hand 0.25% is a pretty good deal for a credit.
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Old 16.12.2015, 10:19
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Re: taxes when married, they are actually lower?

I save about 10-15K a year now that I'm married (Zürich). My accountant claims it's due to the fact that I was making a lot more than my mrs. so it all evens out now.
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