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Old 30.01.2011, 23:40
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Taxes and distance from Zürich

My wife and I are moving to Zürich soon, and one of our first tasks will be finding a place to live. We've read that municipal taxes are higher the closer you are to Zürich center, but how far away would we need to go to see a meaningful difference?

Using the tax calculator at homegate.ch (http://www.homegate.ch/finance/calcu...tax-calculator) the difference between entering Zürich or Adliswil is relatively small (3% overall - that's a 7% difference in municipal taxes).

Ideally I'd like to live no farther than 30 minutes (via public transport) from the center, but it seems to make no difference in taxes. How far from the center should we live in order to reduce taxes considerably?
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Old 30.01.2011, 23:47
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Re: Taxes and distance from Zürich

You could live in Canton Zug or Canton Schwyz. Generally, you would
have about a 45 minute commute, but you would reduce your taxes
tremendously.

The downside is that these Cantons have higher rents!
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Old 30.01.2011, 23:47
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Re: Taxes and distance from Zürich

Here is a link to a list of current tax rates in the municipalities of the Canton of Zürich.

http://www.steueramt.zh.ch/html/steu...adio_STEUER=on

If I copied the link correctly the list is sorted in increasing order, i.e. the first places have the lowest tax rate. First on the list should be Neerach, followed by Winkel, etc...
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Old 31.01.2011, 07:55
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Re: Taxes and distance from Zürich

The taxes in places like Zug are lower but rents are higher, so any tax saving is more than negated. Places like Affoltern am Albis offer slightly higher taxes than say Zug, have much lower rents, is a 25 minute commute with plenty of trains, and I think it's a nicer place to live than Adliswil.
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Old 31.01.2011, 08:05
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Re: Taxes and distance from Zürich

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The taxes in places like Zug are lower but rents are higher, so any tax saving is more than negated. Places like Affoltern am Albis offer slightly higher taxes than say Zug, have much lower rents, is a 25 minute commute with plenty of trains, and I think it's a nicer place to live than Adliswil.
If your income is a sufficient level, you more than save on your taxes.

Besides, our rent is about 450 CHF more than it was in Horgen.
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Old 31.01.2011, 08:15
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Re: Taxes and distance from Zürich

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If your income is a sufficient level, you more than save on your taxes.

Besides, our rent is about 450 CHF more than it was in Horgen.
Nope, your salary would have to be immense for the tax saving to offset the rent.

For my wife, tax in Zug was CHF 212 chf less than Mett', rent CHF 1,200 more in Zug town. We are quite happy to pay a little more tax thanks

Last edited by Papa Goose; 31.01.2011 at 10:38.
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Old 31.01.2011, 08:37
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Re: Taxes and distance from Zürich

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Nope, your salary would have to be immense for the tax saving to offset the rent.

For my wife tax in Zug was CHF 212 chf less than Mett', rent CHF 1,200 more. We are quite happy to pay a little more tax thanks
For us, our income tax more than offsets the increase in rent so it is
worth living here.
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Old 31.01.2011, 09:55
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Re: Taxes and distance from Zürich

Will the OP have to pay Quellensteuer?

If so, taxes should be the same throughout the canton, the Gemeinde he chooses may not matter. If he pays Quellensteuer the way to reduce taxes would be to live in a canton with a lower rate. (SZ,ZG) Whether that difference in taxes off-sets any difference in rent depends on his actual income - and how lucky he gets in finding housing.

If he doesn't pay Quellensteuer, then depending on his individual situation his place of residence can make quite a difference - or not.


(FYI, living in SZ our taxes are half what we paid in a medium-low ZH Gemeinde - and our mortgage is a quarter of what we paid in rent. But then, we had to pay silly rent in ZH because we were 'undesireables'. The OP should run his real numbers through a calculator because as always here: YMMV. )
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Old 31.01.2011, 10:14
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Re: Taxes and distance from Zürich

Nothing to do with distance from Zurich. I think Kilchberg is nearer to Zurich than Adliswil (depending on where you consider to be your center in Zurich), and is 10% cheaper than Adliswil.



But getting a place there for a decent price can be very difficult.
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Old 31.01.2011, 10:35
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Re: Taxes and distance from Zürich

As always the low tax/high rent debate will rage. Most people coming over OCD on lower taxes, use sites like homegate to search in those low tax kantons, and chose from there. We changed from Zug canton search, to 30kms from Zug town, kept the search parameters the same, and the number of properties matching our wish list more than quadrupled at a lower rent, then applied the tax calculators to build up a more holostic view of the cost of living in places/areas we liked.... and last year we took a cruise, had a week in Provence, and a weekend in Milan courtesy of not living in a 'Low Tax' canton... just sayin
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Old 31.01.2011, 12:26
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Re: Taxes and distance from Zürich

Thanks for the replies! (I haven't figured out how to "thank" posts, though)

Taxes in ZG or SZ are indeed much lower! We'll have to look for places within short commutes to the office.

@axman, Kilchberg ends up being ~15% cheaper for me!

@meloncollie, I think I'll have to pay Quellensteuer. Your comments re mortgage are very interesting.
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Old 31.01.2011, 12:42
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Re: Taxes and distance from Zürich

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Thanks for the replies! (I haven't figured out how to "thank" posts, though)

Taxes in ZG or SZ are indeed much lower! We'll have to look for places within short commutes to the office.

@axman, Kilchberg ends up being ~15% cheaper for me!

@meloncollie, I think I'll have to pay Quellensteuer. Your comments re mortgage are very interesting.
One note on the mortgage. It is true that you can save "rent" by having
a mortgage..... BUT You will not be able to rent your flat out to anyone else until you have a 'C' Permit, which allows permanent residence.

I.e. If you buy an flat and your job doesn't work out, you could get
stuck with a flat. You might even have to settle for a loss if you
sell it.
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Old 31.01.2011, 13:55
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Re: Taxes and distance from Zürich

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One note on the mortgage. It is true that you can save "rent" by having
a mortgage..... BUT You will not be able to rent your flat out to anyone else until you have a 'C' Permit, which allows permanent residence.

I.e. If you buy an flat and your job doesn't work out, you could get
stuck with a flat. You might even have to settle for a loss if you
sell it.
Whats the thinking behind this rule then? Seems a little odd. Does it depend on which bank you have your mortgage with and do they all have the same rule? Have never heard of this one before....whats happens if you only have B permit?
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Old 31.01.2011, 13:59
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Re: Taxes and distance from Zürich

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Whats the thinking behind this rule then? Seems a little odd. Does it depend on which bank you have your mortgage with and do they all have the same rule? Have never heard of this one before....whats happens if you only have B permit?
It has nothing to do with where you have your mortgage, and yes, they all have the same rule. The thinking, IMHO, is that Switzerland would get
bought out by foreigners leaving Swiss with even higher real estate prices.

If you have a B permit, you can buy to live there yourself but not rent out.
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Old 31.01.2011, 14:20
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Re: Taxes and distance from Zürich

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Your comments re mortgage are very interesting.
But but but...

It is very important to understand that the property market in Switzerland is unlike many other countries. I would strongly advise against buying until you have lived here a while, gained first-hand knowledge of the areas you are interested in, gained an understanding of Swiss property law and taxes, and have a long-term view as to where your life is headed.

Only then should you think about buying.

For starters, google 'Eigenmietwert'. Then google 'Grundstückgewinnsteuer + Besitzdauerzuschlag'.

All in all, even paying Eigenmietwert, buying in low-tax SZ was a clear financial winner for us, as we were paying an exhorbitant rent in ZH. But if you don't carry the baggage we did (dog owners, limited time available to find housing, at the time speaking not a word of German) you may find you can get a better deal than we did - which would change your outlook.

But financial considerations should pale in comparision to quality of life issues. First, find a place where you and your family can be happy.

Actually, in this over-heated market - first find a place, full stop.
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Old 31.01.2011, 20:57
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Re: Taxes and distance from Zürich

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It has nothing to do with where you have your mortgage, and yes, they all have the same rule. The thinking, IMHO, is that Switzerland would get
bought out by foreigners leaving Swiss with even higher real estate prices.

If you have a B permit, you can buy to live there yourself but not rent out.
Ok, thanks for this. I'm finding some conflicting information on this, depending on whether you are an EU citizen or not.

Also what happens in the case where you have purchased a property in Switzerland with the intention of staying here, you have lived in the property for 3 years, but for genuine family reasons you now wish to leave Switzerland? Strikes me that this is not exactly the same as intending to buy to let for investment purposes.

Anyone able to shed any more light on this?

Cheers.
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Old 31.01.2011, 21:01
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Re: Taxes and distance from Zürich

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Ok, thanks for this. I'm finding some conflicting information on this, depending on whether you are an EU citizen or not.

Also what happens in the case where you have purchased a property in Switzerland with the intention of staying here, you have lived in the property for 3 years, but for genuine family reasons you now wish to leave Switzerland? Strikes me that this is not exactly the same as intending to buy to let for investment purposes.

Anyone able to shed any more light on this?

Cheers.
EU nationals can buy to let here and can rent out their own home without permission and without needing a C-Permit. I don't have an EU passport and our bank advised us we would need to transfer our home into my husband's name (who has an EU passport) should we want to let it out. This changed when I got my C permit, but this of course C permits expires when you spend time out of Switzerland.

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Old 01.02.2011, 21:52
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Re: Taxes and distance from Zürich

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The taxes in places like Zug are lower but rents are higher, so any tax saving is more than negated. Places like Affoltern am Albis offer slightly higher taxes than say Zug, have much lower rents, is a 25 minute commute with plenty of trains, and I think it's a nicer place to live than Adliswil.
Affoltern am Albis Gemeinde Steuer = 122

http://www.steueramt.zh.ch/html/steu...euerfuesse.htm

Zug Gemeinde Steuer = 60

http://www.zug.ch/behoerden/finanzdi...nload/file_pdf

Id say the taxes in Affoltern am Ambis are considerably higher than Zug.
And in fact id go as far as saying taxes in Affoltern am Albis are one of the highest in Switzerland.
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Old 01.02.2011, 22:01
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Re: Taxes and distance from Zürich

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Affoltern am Albis Gemeinde Steuer = 122

http://www.steueramt.zh.ch/html/steu...euerfuesse.htm

Zug Gemeinde Steuer = 60

http://www.zug.ch/behoerden/finanzdi...nload/file_pdf

Id say the taxes in Affoltern am Ambis are considerably higher than Zug.
And in fact id go as far as saying taxes in Affoltern am Albis are one of the highest in Switzerland.
Sorry dude but the tax man and payslip's for the last 2 and a bit years say's your talking crap, actual tax increase over Zug 212 CHF on current salary, 170 odd (I think) when we moved in April 2008... end of
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Old 01.02.2011, 22:11
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Re: Taxes and distance from Zürich

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Affoltern am Albis Gemeinde Steuer = 122

http://www.steueramt.zh.ch/html/steu...euerfuesse.htm

Zug Gemeinde Steuer = 60

http://www.zug.ch/behoerden/finanzdi...nload/file_pdf

Id say the taxes in Affoltern am Ambis are considerably higher than Zug.
And in fact id go as far as saying taxes in Affoltern am Albis are one of the highest in Switzerland.
As somebody living in good old Affoltern a/A I can confirm that tax here is high for kanton Zurich and much higher than Zug. However my rent for a 5 1/2 room 160 sq m apartment is half of what it would be in Zurich or Zug.
You pays ya money and takes ya choice...
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