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Old 11.01.2008, 19:41
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Re: Postdoc tax question

An update: it is possible that some postdocs, including Marie Curie Fellows can qualify for the expatriate allowance of 1500 CHF off the taxable monthly income.

The rules on this are listed in Merkblatt 8, see English translation at:

I think this law is national, but that it is up to each tax office (of your kanton) to decide if your postdoc job, and your particular background, lets you qualify for this exemption. I know in Bern for example it is possible in principle, but I do not yet know if the steuerambt accepts it for IEF fellows.

1 These guidelines based on 25 and 26 of Zurich's Law on Taxation (LT) provide rules for the deductibility of exceptional professional expenditure arising to senior staff or specialists because they are sent to Switzerland temporarily by a foreign employer or are temporarily employed here for a limited duration contract.................

Senior staff and specialists who have a work permit for at least one year (compare 8) and are living in Switzerland (central point of their lives) are subject to these guidelines if they retain a permanent residence in their country of origin or if they intend to return there in the foreseeable future.
Note, for Marie Curie fellows or Postdocs who get expenses paid or get the EU allowances in such a way that they are added to your monthly income, and then tax is taken out, the following paragraph applies to you:

24 If a member of senior staff or a specialist receives all-inclusive payment for exceptional professional expenses within the meaning of paragraph 11 ff. the exceptional professional expenses are taken into account - irrespective of the civil status of the taxable person - with a monthly all-inclusive sum of Fr. 1,500.--. The employer has to subtract Fr. 1,500.-- from the total monthly salary paid out (including the all-inclusive payment) and deduct tax at source from the sum remaining.
This means you would add the salary + mobility allowance (plus travel + career in some months), then substract 1500, and calculate tax on the remainder. For people who did not know about this expatriate option who have to do their tax return over 2007, ask your tax accountant if this expat status for postdocs is possible in your kanton. Note you have to submit by 31.03.08 if you want to try this.

Last edited by muze7; 11.01.2008 at 20:08.
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