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Old 17.02.2011, 19:07
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Different tax amount paid between assesment and employer

I've just an annoyingly large tax bill for 2008 today from the Zurich steuramt. The amount of taxes that they are showing as paid is several thousand less than what was shown as deducted on the income statement my employer gave me for 2008. Is the difference just the federal tax amount, or is there a problem that I should looking into here?

I've heard numerous stories about assesments being done wrong so I'd hate to fork over the money (three years after the fact) needlessly. Thanks in advance for any input.
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Old 17.02.2011, 19:13
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Re: Different tax amount paid between assesment and employer

Add up all your taxed at source amounts from your pay slips. Work out how much you should pay based on your taxable income as per your tax declaration. You were most probably under-taxed the whole year by your employer (as per a letter from the tax department) - we were one year.

You should have checked that your 2008 tax declaration was correct at the time you submitted it. Dig it out now and check it. You have 30 days from the date of that letter you just received to say it is incorrect.
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Old 17.02.2011, 20:07
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Re: Different tax amount paid between assesment and employer

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Add up all your taxed at source amounts from your pay slips. Work out how much you should pay based on your taxable income as per your tax declaration. You were most probably under-taxed the whole year by your employer (as per a letter from the tax department) - we were one year.

You should have checked that your 2008 tax declaration was correct at the time you submitted it. Dig it out now and check it. You have 30 days from the date of that letter you just received to say it is incorrect.
But the 2008 declaration never actually states how much tax my employer deducted at source, I just fill in my income after AHV etc. is deducted.

It's certainly possible my employer undertaxed me through the year, I just don't understand how the tax amount shown on the form my employer gave me is different from what the tax office is saying they recieved. Did my employer just keep that difference? To me that seems unlikely.
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Old 17.02.2011, 20:18
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Re: Different tax amount paid between assesment and employer

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But the 2008 declaration never actually states how much tax my employer deducted at source, I just fill in my income after AHV etc. is deducted.
Add up all the Quellensteuerabzug amounts on your payslips for 2008.

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It's certainly possible my employer undertaxed me through the year, I just don't understand how the tax amount shown on the form my employer gave me is different from what the tax office is saying they recieved. Did my employer just keep that difference? To me that seems unlikely.
The tax office gets tax codes wrong all the time and bonuses may get paid without tax taken out.

At the end of the year, you pay the tax due on the income you made (plus income in other countries and asset taxes). Plug your salary and other things into an online calculator (homegate has one) and see the tax your should have paid. If the tax at source amount is less than that amount, then you owe them money.
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Old 17.02.2011, 22:06
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Re: Different tax amount paid between assesment and employer

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Add up all the Quellensteuerabzug amounts on your payslips for 2008.
I don't have pay slips, I have the total figures for the year, and the tax office has different total figures. The total figures from my employer broadly match what I was paid net, although due to various other deductions this isn't as simple as it may sound to match up.

I guess, I don't want to dwell on that point, does anyone know specifically if for the Zurich Steuramt when they show the tax recieved is not including the federal tax recieved? If that is the case the difference makes sense, but if when they show an amount recieved it's really meant to be the total, then something went wrong.
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We actually don't keep track of that record... You need to call the European fecal standards and measuremments office in Zürich, their number is listed on thier website
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Old 18.02.2011, 23:57
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Re: Different tax amount paid between assesment and employer

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I don't have pay slips, I have the total figures for the year, and the tax office has different total figures. The total figures from my employer broadly match what I was paid net, although due to various other deductions this isn't as simple as it may sound to match up.

I guess, I don't want to dwell on that point, does anyone know specifically if for the Zurich Steuramt when they show the tax recieved is not including the federal tax recieved? If that is the case the difference makes sense, but if when they show an amount recieved it's really meant to be the total, then something went wrong.
They show the figure they receive. Quellensteuer or PAYE which I gather is what you are referring to is paid into a personal pot ie one with your name on and split into federal and cantonal. The canton then calculates whether the amount taken is correct and rebates the surplus charging for the excess. It is a little strange though that you received a bill. This "normally" does not happen. If your salary is below 120K the figure is deemed to be correct and if you are above 120K then the possible deductions such as for travel etc usually ensure the tax paid is more than the tax owed.

I think you probably did not understand how tax is done in Switzerland and either did not claim for all you could, live next door to where you work, had a bonus that was not declared properly or a combination thereof...
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Old 19.02.2011, 01:02
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Re: Different tax amount paid between assesment and employer

Well I have read all the posts and it looks to me that something isn't kosher.

Why not take all your employee paperwork to your tax office in your Zürich Steueramt and ask them if they can see where the mistake is? They do enjoy helping people.
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Old 23.02.2011, 08:45
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Re: Different tax amount paid between assesment and employer

Spoke to the Zurich tax authorities today, the difference is due to the federal tax. This although makes me worry a bit about how many (more) years I'm going to have to wait to see if the federal side will also try to send me a bill. I filed 2007 taxes, and have never heard anything from the federal tax authorities, I'm leaving now in 2011, so it seems up to 2015 I may have to expect a follow up bill....
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