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Old 24.03.2015, 13:23
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B permit employee of embassy and tax (Quellensteuer) question

Hello, fellow expats!

I am a German national living in Switzerland, working for a foreign embassy in Berne. (Not the German one.)

Since my employer is kind of an ecxeption and does not pay social security etc. on my behalf, they also do not subtract and pay taxes (Quellensteuer) on my behalf either. When I asked the city office what to do, they told me (and a German colleague of mine) that they had no idea.

Obviously, I wouldn't mind not paying taxes (although it seems unfair to those who do), but I am scared of a giant tax bill suddenly hitting me next year.

Is anyone in the same situation and knows what to do?

Additional information: While I work in Berne, I live in Geneva and will try to ask there as well. You'd assume that they see this problem more often with all their international organisations. Unfortunately, my French is barely intermediate and not yet at the level I can have complicated discussions with government officials...

Thank you in advance!
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Old 26.03.2015, 08:17
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Re: B permit employee of embassy and tax (Quellensteuer) question

Best thing to do is contact the tax office in Geneva as you are taxed in the canton where you live. I'm sure if you do need to pay taxes, they'll be happy to help you fill in a tax return. Once you have the initial return done, unless your circumstances change a lot from year to year, you should be able to do it yourself for the following years.

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Old 26.03.2015, 08:40
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Re: B permit employee of embassy and tax (Quellensteuer) question

Thank you!

Do you happen to know if anyone there speaks English or German? There should be someone, considering Geneva is full of expats, but who knows...
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Old 26.03.2015, 08:43
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Re: B permit employee of embassy and tax (Quellensteuer) question

I think Embassy staff are exempt from paying tax... But you may have to pay in your home country/embassy's country. Can't you ask someone you work with who has been there longer than you, surely they know if they pay tax or not!?
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Old 26.03.2015, 08:45
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Re: B permit employee of embassy and tax (Quellensteuer) question

I'm not a diplomat, I just happen to work for an embassy. I have a normal B permit.
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Old 26.03.2015, 09:07
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Re: B permit employee of embassy and tax (Quellensteuer) question

The tax payments and all the insurances are entirely voluntary if you work directly for an embassy. Maybe ask the embassy personnel officer what is best for you.

You should at least pay the AHV-AVS voluntarily, as this will be your national pension fund.

https://www.ch.ch/en/ahv/

https://plus.google.com/110233495762...24/about?hl=en
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Old 26.03.2015, 11:11
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Re: B permit employee of embassy and tax (Quellensteuer) question

Quote:
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The tax payments and all the insurances are entirely voluntary if you work directly for an embassy. Maybe ask the embassy personnel officer what is best for you.

You should at least pay the AHV-AVS voluntarily, as this will be your national pension fund.

https://www.ch.ch/en/ahv/

https://plus.google.com/110233495762...24/about?hl=en
The mind boggles. Thank you!

I have already registered for AHV-AVS and am paying the full amount. (My employer is actually paying half, but not directly to them, they pay it to me.)

I would like to reiterate, just to be clear there are no misunderstandings, that I am NOT a diplomat, simply a local staff for an embassy, with a normal B permit that explicitly says my employer is responsible for my Quellensteuer (withholding tax.) Embassies and other international organisations etc. are called Anobag, Arbeitnehmer ohne beitragspflichten Arbeitgeber (Employee without fee-paying employer), which means I have to pay for everything myself, and no one knows how. I was kinda hoping there were other people like me around.
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