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Old 23.03.2012, 18:34
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Swiss taxes are unfair to women.

I just realized (now that I make the exact same amount as my husband ! that as a woman I pay 4.9% more in taxes than he does just because I am female.

I knew women paid more, but I didn't realize I was going to pay 5 (!) percent more than him.

This has probably been covered before, but since I am just now realizing it, just had to let loose and rant.

Thanks
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Old 23.03.2012, 18:41
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Re: Swiss taxes are unfair to women.

Apologies - as a stay at home mum who has never had to get to grips with the tax system in CH, is this because the wife's income is added to the husband's income and so taxed at a higher marginal rate?

Does this apply equally to quellensteur and also normal tax?

So unless you mix your money together in one joint account, it ends up with you (the wife) bearing a disproportionate amount of the family tax bill?

Just wanted to check ..
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Old 23.03.2012, 18:45
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Re: Swiss taxes are unfair to women.

In the beginning you do feel that the wife is taxed more, but it just seems so. The fact is that you are no longer taxed individually, but as a family. You and your husband are taxed on your total yearly income, which goes into your family. So, its just another way of looking at it.
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Old 23.03.2012, 18:49
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Re: Swiss taxes are unfair to women.

Lucky you! That means you are a high earner.
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Old 23.03.2012, 18:52
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Re: Swiss taxes are unfair to women.

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Lucky you! That means you are a high earner.
Why would it mean that?

Seeing as the incomes are cumulative, they could both be making a completely normal wage and still see the added tax percentage.
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Old 23.03.2012, 18:53
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Re: Swiss taxes are unfair to women.

AFAIK you can decide whose income is the main one for tax purposes: if it were yours, your spouse would pay more.
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Old 23.03.2012, 19:00
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Re: Swiss taxes are unfair to women.

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I just realized (now that I make the exact same amount as my husband ! that as a woman I pay 4.9% more in taxes than he does just because I am female.

I knew women paid more, but I didn't realize I was going to pay 5 (!) percent more than him.

This has probably been covered before, but since I am just now realizing it, just had to let loose and rant.

Thanks
It's only because you got married, if you lived together you would pay the same tax. The rational is that it's quite possible to live on 1 income & a wife is expected in a Catholic country to look after her children.
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Old 26.03.2012, 11:12
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Re: Swiss taxes are unfair to women.

It's quite sad "women are expected to stay home and take care of children"... At least where I come from families with children are given tax breaks not asked to pay more taxes
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Old 26.03.2012, 11:20
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Re: Swiss taxes are unfair to women.

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It's quite sad "women are expected to stay home and take care of children"... At least where I come from families with children are given tax breaks not asked to pay more taxes

Same thing here. There is what is called the "marriage penalty" (where an unmarried couple fares better than a married one), but families (with kids) are given tax breaks. The whole thing boils down to the OP not really understanding the system.
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Old 26.03.2012, 13:06
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Re: Swiss taxes are unfair to women.

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It's quite sad "women are expected to stay home and take care of children"... At least where I come from families with children are given tax breaks not asked to pay more taxes
Oh, are you from Switzerland then...
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Old 26.03.2012, 18:05
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Re: Swiss taxes are unfair to women.

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The rational is that it's quite possible to live on 1 income & a wife is expected in a Catholic country to look after her children.
The rational must be something else, because Basel is protestant.

And it's not the woman being taxed more, as same sex partnered couples have the same even if there is no woman around.
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Old 26.03.2012, 19:47
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Re: Swiss taxes are unfair to women.

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Well, yes and no. More women of childbearing age work (80.6%, vs. 74.4% of UK women and 70.2% of US women). However, the percentage of women working part time is higher in Switzerland (47.4% vs. 35.1% for the UK, 13.6% for the US) and more likely to have temporary employment (7% vs. 4.9% and 3.4% for the UK and US, respectively). As a result, fewer women in Switzerland make it into managerial positions (which presumably is a proxy for higher-paid positions) 21.2% vs. 34.4% and 36.7% for the UK and US, resp). Source: OECD (http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset...89264098732-en)

Also according to the OECD (some of the statistics here are slightly different, I believe owing to different years from which the numbers were taken):
“In Switzerland, 72% of women work, many of them part-time. By contrast, 85% of men work full-time. The lack of family-friendly policy and workplace support makes it very difficult for many Swiss parents, usually mothers, to combine work and family life…Switzerland’s female employment rate is high compared to the OECD average of 60%. However, 45% of all women work part-time, the second-highest rate across the OECD. For Swiss mothers with dependent children, that rate soars to almost 75%. A period of part-time work is good for reconciling work and family life, but working part-time on a long-term basis hinders career progression. Many Swiss women find it difficult to combine careers and children: at age 40, 40% of women with tertiary education are childless, and many families are having fewer children than they would like.”
I've never said that there is no problem. It is just that the argument that women in Switzerland do not/should not work is simply "worng".

The solutions (policies) to the actual problem, which you have described very well in your post, would look totally different than those we'd need if women were "simply" not "working."

I'd guess we can actually agree on that?
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As a full time working mother whose husband was asked to move the Kinderzulage from my paycheck to his, (well, she'll quit working soon, so there will be more paperwork), I can say that there is a bit of the old-fashioned attitude here, at least among the ETH secretarial pool.
Nah, there are rules (art. 7 of the federal law on "kinderzulagen" FamZG) which help to determine who gets the Kinderzulage if more than one person is eligible. Gender does not play a role.
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And it's not the woman being taxed more, as same sex partnered couples have the same even if there is no woman around.
QED
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Old 27.03.2012, 11:43
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Re: Swiss taxes are unfair to women.

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I've never said that there is no problem. It is just that the argument that women in Switzerland do not/should not work is simply "worng".

The solutions (policies) to the actual problem, which you have described very well in your post, would look totally different than those we'd need if women were "simply" not "working."

I'd guess we can actually agree on that?Nah, there are rules (art. 7 of the federal law on "kinderzulagen" FamZG) which help to determine who gets the Kinderzulage if more than one person is eligible. Gender does not play a role.

QED
Yes, women work, but I would suggest that the policies here (non-uniform, non-coordinated school days) combined with the the Swiss attitude that women really should be at home (and that we want to be at home) make it hard for women to pursue a career, rather than do some part-time low-responsibility work (which is what the statistics suggest, but do not prove). Given that the level of education for women is quite high, and that University is a relatively low financial burden, the OECD and I agree that Switzerland has contradictory policies toward empowering women. Here, get a free PhD, but good luck using it once you have kids!

As for the rules on Kinderzulagen, the secretary was just trying be helpful, since with two kids, I'd surely be quitting soon. I did not imply that she was following any rule other than her own sense of what was right.
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Old 27.03.2012, 12:38
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Re: Swiss taxes are unfair to women.

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Yes, women work, but I would suggest that the policies here (non-uniform, non-coordinated school days) combined with the the Swiss attitude that women really should be at home (and that we want to be at home) make it hard for women to pursue a career, rather than do some part-time low-responsibility work (which is what the statistics suggest, but do not prove). Given that the level of education for women is quite high, and that University is a relatively low financial burden, the OECD and I agree that Switzerland has contradictory policies toward empowering women. Here, get a free PhD, but good luck using it once you have kids!.
I sense that you disagree with me, but I just don't understand why? I never said anything different.

My point is that you if you want to change a situation, you need a definition of the problem that is grounded on facts (the one you gave above) and not on fiction (swiss women do not work).


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As for the rules on Kinderzulagen, the secretary was just trying be helpful, since with two kids, I'd surely be quitting soon. I did not imply that she was following any rule other than her own sense of what was right.
I do hope she was following a rule, as the law is extremely clear (and not sexist).
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Old 27.03.2012, 14:51
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Re: Swiss taxes are unfair to women.

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It's only because you got married, if you lived together you would pay the same tax. The rational is that it's quite possible to live on 1 income & a wife is expected in a Catholic country to look after her children.
Just because you live in a catholic canton doesn't mean that Switzerland is a catholic country. Only about have of the population is catholic and many cantons are not catholic.
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Old 23.03.2012, 19:04
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Re: Swiss taxes are unfair to women.

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I just realized (now that I make the exact same amount as my husband ! that as a woman I pay 4.9% more in taxes than he does just because I am female.

I knew women paid more, but I didn't realize I was going to pay 5 (!) percent more than him.

This has probably been covered before, but since I am just now realizing it, just had to let loose and rant.

Thanks
But you can stop working 2 years earlier
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Old 23.03.2012, 19:13
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Re: Swiss taxes are unfair to women.

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I just realized (now that I make the exact same amount as my husband ! that as a woman I pay 4.9% more in taxes than he does just because I am female.

I knew women paid more, but I didn't realize I was going to pay 5 (!) percent more than him.

This has probably been covered before, but since I am just now realizing it, just had to let loose and rant.

Thanks
Erm, no that's not the case - you file a joint declaration don't you? Or pay tax at source. If tax at source, it's because your the secondary wage earner.

I agree that married couples get a bad deal in Switzerland, but why is that just unfair to the woman? How is it not unfair to the man (or actually: "the married couple") as well?

Last edited by c123; 23.03.2012 at 19:15. Reason: typo
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Old 23.03.2012, 20:28
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Re: Swiss taxes are unfair to women.

Sorry, should have clarified.
I am married and we get taxed as Quellensteuer.
I am taxed as a "double earner female" and he is taxed as a "double earner male". However, even though our salaries are identical, I get taxed at a higher rate.
I agree with previous posters, we do put the money in the same account, so our taxes should sort of average out. But still, why not just tax us equally? Also, considering that I will retire earlier, shouldn't that be taken into account when I pay into my pension (not my taxes?).
But, yes- VERY thankful to be earning some dough. And happy to get to gripe about getting taxed. Plus, at least they tax me automatically and I don't have to sort through filing taxes in German.
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Old 23.03.2012, 20:41
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Re: Swiss taxes are unfair to women.

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But still, why not just tax us equally?
It's concidered bad form for a wife to work & is activly discouraged.
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Old 24.03.2012, 12:23
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Re: Swiss taxes are unfair to women.

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It's concidered bad form for a wife to work & is activly discouraged.
And that explains why the female workforce participation is consistently higher in Switzerland than in, let's say, the UK or the US.
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