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Old 27.03.2011, 23:13
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Foreign spouse income used for tax rate?

Hi,
I would greatly appreciate any help in clarifying this question. I am a Canadian national, permit B holder, living in Geneva. I got married in July 2009, my husband is American and he continues to live in the States (travels often here). I was taxed at source as a single person throughout 2009. When I filed my rectification for 2009 (mainly for the 3rd pillar deduction), the tax office has changed my tax rate to reflect the married tax bracket of the combined income of my husband and I. So, instead of getting money back, I have to pay more tax. I understand that setting the tax rate on the combined income is the rule for those living and working in Switzerland, but does it also apply for foreign spouses? What is the rationale?
I was lead to believe by some of the tax office representative that my tax situation will not change following my marriage given we do not make 'menage commun'... Don't know what to believe anymore and would really like to know.

Please help if you know the answer or if you are in a similar situation!
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Old 27.03.2011, 23:55
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Re: Foreign spouse income used for tax rate?

I suggest finding a tax specialist who will give you expert advice. Taxes are not to be messed with,,,,
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Old 28.03.2011, 21:59
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Re: Foreign spouse income used for tax rate?

Thank you, Snoopy. I will probably go to a financial advisor eventually. Just wondering if there was someone on this forum in a similar situation i.e. spouse earning income abroad (and not frontalier) and how the tax rate was calculated in their case.
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Old 28.03.2011, 22:07
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Re: Foreign spouse income used for tax rate?

I haven't found anything specifically for Geneva but I did find something for Basel, and I would imagine that tax legislation is quite harmonized in the major points across the country (but I may be wrong, hence the advice to check with a professional).

Anyway in Basel, it is clearly stated that if one spouse lives in Switzerland and the other lives and works abroad, the total combined income is used to ascertain the tax bracket, so if that law is applied also in Geneva it would appear that the tax authorities have acted correctly. This being said you may want to explore the possibility of deductions for costs associated with maintaining a second domicile....
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Old 29.03.2011, 23:19
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Re: Foreign spouse income used for tax rate?

Thanks so much, Snoopy! The tax office might be right in their decision then... too bad the reps kept telling me that I will be still taxed as a single person. Anyway, will try to check with an advisor about how best to approach the issue.
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