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Old 18.01.2011, 10:03
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Paying Taxes Despite No Income

Hi,

I've lived in CH since September 2010. I moved here without a job to be with my boyfriend. I was unemployed until February 2011. Last week I received a letter from the Swiss Tax Office. Apparently I was supposed to file my 2010 taxes even though I had no income in 2010. However, I am pretty sure that I've never received any forms at my home address.

I have talked to some friends and they briefly told me that I should indeed file a tax report and include statements from any back accounts anywhere in the world plus a letter stating that I had no income in 2010 in Switzerland or elsewhere. (I have two bank accounts in two different countries, but not much money in either account.)

My questions are - Do you agree with this advice? Which form should I file and where can I get it? Would it be OK to write a letter in English? Has anybody had a similar experience?

I am already paying late fees on this, so any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks very much!
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Old 18.01.2011, 10:14
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Re: Paying Taxes Despite No Income

You seem to be confused. You need to file a tax return for the year 2009. We have not filed any returns for tax year 2010 yet.

"You have not worked unil February 2011", but that is in 2 weeks time!?

You should take action today! Go to the tax office, take all your bank statements for December 2009 and complete the forms immediately.

My ex-wife ignored them, she was receiving social security. They demanded CHF 5,000 and she fled the country.
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Old 18.01.2011, 10:26
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Re: Paying Taxes Despite No Income

My son was still at school age 18, and had to fill in a tax return despite no earnings. It seems to have triggered some payments to him though, which is nice. You'll need to write to the tax office in the local language.
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Old 20.01.2011, 09:26
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Re: Paying Taxes Despite No Income

Thank you very much for replying. I have to admit, I am confused, plus I have an 8-week old baby at home so it is very difficult for me to go anywhere and do anything. If I may ask a couple more questions - is there a general form (with a name or a number, like in the US) that I would need to get and fill out? If so, where could I get it? Is it possible to get it on-line? Another question is - is there a government office in Basel - which is where I live - that deals with taxes? Or is there a government website or any website that explains the tax system?

PS: Sorry about the dates, I added I year by mistake.

Thank you very much!
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Old 20.01.2011, 10:03
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Re: Paying Taxes Despite No Income

If you are in Basel city, you need BalTax - available from http://www.steuerverwaltung.bs.ch/baltax.htm The government website is www.bs.ch

For Baselland, it's EasyTax, from http://www.baselland.ch/easytax-htm.273853.0.html The government website is www.bl.ch

Of course, it's all in German!
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Old 20.01.2011, 10:18
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Re: Paying Taxes Despite No Income

When I first moved to Lugano (from Zurich), I just went to the tax office in Lugano, and a pleasant English speaking guy gave me the forms and helped me fill them out.

Tom
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Old 20.01.2011, 10:52
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Re: Paying Taxes Despite No Income

Hi there,

I was in a similar situation to yours when I moved. I arrived in Basel in September 2008 and had no job at the time. i didn't start working until January 2009. I did receive papers to fill out at home though (unlike you) to file the tax return for the year 2008. I didn't pay anything of course. Just needed to provide bank statements for my accounts abroad and my fiancé wrote a letter and included it saying he was responsible for me for the 1st 3 months I was here living without any income.

His accountant took care of everything for me.

I would try and contact asap the tax office in Basel and explain what happened- I am sure it will be ok.

Jeanie
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Old 20.01.2011, 18:54
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Re: Paying Taxes Despite No Income

Thanks very much to everybody who has replied. All of your answers were helpful and I think I know what I need to do now. I am positively surprised that I was able to get help with this through English Forum in literally no time! Again, thanks a lot to all of you!
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Old 24.01.2011, 19:30
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Re: Paying Taxes Despite No Income

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You seem to be confused. You need to file a tax return for the year 2009. We have not filed any returns for tax year 2010 yet.



My ex-wife ignored them, she was receiving social security. They demanded CHF 5,000 and she fled the country.
I thought social security is only available at age 65 and up.
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Old 24.01.2011, 20:24
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Re: Paying Taxes Despite No Income

is this only when you are not taxed at source?
ive never filled anything out, not have they ever asked for any as i have been taxed at source always. Ive had 2 months not being employed total....?
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Old 24.01.2011, 20:30
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Re: Paying Taxes Despite No Income

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is this only when you are not taxed at source?
ive never filled anything out, not have they ever asked for any as i have been taxed at source always. Ive had 2 months not being employed total....?
correct, except that when your employment income goes above a certain level, then you have to file.
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Old 24.01.2011, 20:51
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Re: Paying Taxes Despite No Income

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I thought social security is only available at age 65 and up.
Or if you are widowed.

Tom
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Old 24.01.2011, 20:53
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Re: Paying Taxes Despite No Income

And I thought being over 65 was Retirement Pension age in most of Europe (up till now at least!).
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Old 25.01.2011, 00:15
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Re: Paying Taxes Despite No Income

is it the same with social security (AVS)?

I've lived in Lausane since 31.12.2010 to be together with my husband. I have no job here. Recently i got a mail, saying that they dont have enough information to determine my avs. They asked me to fill out a form about my employment and my salary. At the end of the letter, they said that if i never paid the social contribution of 495 chf than i have to pay it. (i'm not sure i understand it correctly, i translated the letter using google translator). Can someone explain to me what this all about and how should i proceed? thx
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Old 25.01.2011, 00:37
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Re: Paying Taxes Despite No Income

Some Cantons charge you tax even if you have no income... Yes, you have used public services and you should pay something towards that.

If you are not taxed at source you must complete a tax return (Steuererklärung) (Declaration des Impots) every March. If you don't you will effectively be fined.

Social security is available for everyone living here from age 18 to 65. You have to claim it in writing, it is not back dated and is not very much, just enough to live on.

AHV / AVS contributions for your pension should be paid, even if you have no income, otherwise you will not get so much Swiss pension when you retire.
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Old 25.01.2011, 09:44
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Re: Paying Taxes Despite No Income

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If you are not taxed at source you must complete a tax return (Steuererklärung) (Declaration des Impots) every March.
Depends on the canton, here it's end of April, though I always ask for an extension (because I'm lazy) and do it in September.

Tom
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Old 25.01.2011, 11:08
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Re: Paying Taxes Despite No Income

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If you are not taxed at source you must complete a tax return (Steuererklärung) (Declaration des Impots) every March.

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Depends on the canton, here it's end of April, though I always ask for an extension (because I'm lazy) and do it in September.

Tom
it depends mostly on when they want it. March is the default submission date for CH'ers and C permit holders. But when you receive the forms it will be clearly indicated the expected submission date. For me, the last 3 years I have received the forms before end of Jan with a submission date of November. I have B permit and taxed at source.
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Old 25.01.2011, 11:12
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Re: Paying Taxes Despite No Income

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Depends on the canton, here it's end of April, though I always ask for an extension (because I'm lazy) and do it in September.

Tom
I believe it's mandatory in Ticino to complete by September I don't know anyone who doesn't sneeze for the extension
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Old 25.01.2011, 13:15
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Re: Paying Taxes Despite No Income

It really doesn't bloody matter what the date is! If the process is started in March it will be safest option.

If she lives in Bern, or Fribourg, or Vaud, its no bloody good taking it in September and saying EF said it would be OK.

What really matters is that the OP is aware that it has to be done every year!
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Old 25.01.2011, 17:01
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Re: Paying Taxes Despite No Income

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AHV / AVS contributions for your pension should be paid, even if you have no income, otherwise you will not get so much Swiss pension when you retire.
i did not plan to stay here for long time, max 2 years. So, when i retire i wont be here. And i doubt that i will get the swiss pension. Do i still need to pay the AVS then?
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