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Old 08.09.2011, 20:00
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Lowest Lump-Sum tax Canton

My first time post because I'm hoping to move to a French speaking canton in Swiss-ville next year.

A couple of questions :

1) Which Canton is the most cost effective for prospective lump-sum (forfait) tax payers like myself? (your top 5 nominations with reasons much appreciated please)

2) Why is Vaud so popular? Is it because it's the lowest cost as to lump sum?

Your guidance much appreciated
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Old 08.09.2011, 20:08
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Re: Lowest Lump-Sum tax Canton

Welcome to the forum.

The officially French-speaking cantons are Bern, Fribourg, Neuchâtel, Vaud, Geneva, Valais and Jura.

You really want our top five recommendations out of seven?


(Of those seven, Bern, Fribourg, Neuchâtel and Valais are all bilingual so you'd want to be careful which towns you look at within them. Sorry if I'm telling you something you already know.)

Last edited by MathNut; 08.09.2011 at 20:21. Reason: oops
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Old 08.09.2011, 20:19
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Re: Lowest Lump-Sum tax Canton

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(Of those seven, Bern, Fribourg, Neuchâtel and Valais are all bilingual so you'd want to be careful which towns you look at within them. Sorry if I'm telling you something you already know.)
Neuchâtel officially bilingual ? I can't think why it would be... unless they count the accent up Odile's way in the Val de Travers as a separate language
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Old 08.09.2011, 21:15
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Re: Lowest Lump-Sum tax Canton

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1) Which Canton is the most cost effective for prospective lump-sum (forfait) tax payers like myself? (your top 5 nominations with reasons much appreciated please)
Each deal is negotiated individually. There isn't a league table.

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2) Why is Vaud so popular? Is it because it's the lowest cost as to lump sum?
No. Vaud more forfaits because it has a high percentage of foreign residents. It has a lot of foreign residents because the canton offers favourable tax deals to foreign companies who relocate here. Actually, only a fraction of it's are on forfait - and most are retirees who don't want to be stuck out in the styx with only cows as company.

There's been a lot of press about forfait nationwide over the last few years. Vaud politicians have defended the system but be warned - my contacts say they may not abolish it, but they may raise the bar so that fewer qualify.
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Old 08.09.2011, 21:44
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Re: Lowest Lump-Sum tax Canton

[QUOTE=Nev;1332371][HTML]Each deal is negotiated individually. There isn't a league table. [/HTML][HTML]No. Vaud more forfaits because it has a high percentage of foreign residents. It has a lot of foreign residents because the canton offers favourable tax deals to foreign companies who relocate here. Actually, only a fraction of it's are on forfait - and most are retirees who don't want to be stuck out in the styx with only cows as company.
[/HTML]Interesting, however in a KPMG report, of forfaits in 2006, the distribution was as follows :
#1 : Vaud - 1,100
#2 : Valais - 860
#3 : Geneva - 600

But is there a Canton where it is easier to negotiate better deals compared to others?
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Old 09.09.2011, 09:11
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Re: Lowest Lump-Sum tax Canton

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[HTML]Each deal is negotiated individually. There isn't a league table. [/HTML][HTML]No. Vaud more forfaits because it has a high percentage of foreign residents. It has a lot of foreign residents because the canton offers favourable tax deals to foreign companies who relocate here. Actually, only a fraction of it's are on forfait - and most are retirees who don't want to be stuck out in the styx with only cows as company.
[/HTML]Interesting, however in a KPMG report, of forfaits in 2006, the distribution was as follows :
#1 : Vaud - 1,100
#2 : Valais - 860
#3 : Geneva - 600

But is there a Canton where it is easier to negotiate better deals compared to others?
Those numbers are just forfaits in place and are KPMG's guess. It's not an official league table or an indication of the most cost effective in terms of taxation rates.

A friend of mine who deals with this stuff tells me that Geneva is much tougher to negotiate with. Valais is easier than Vaud but bear in mind far fewer foreigners live or want to live there compared to Vaud. In terms of barriers to entry, according to him, it's higher in Geneva, followed by Vaud, followed by Valais.

Also be aware that there have been calls to abolish the forfait so there is no guarantee this system will continue in its present form. Zurich abolished it a couple of years ago. My Canton of Vaud recently rejected a socialist initiative to abolish it but some of those politicians who support it admit it should be modified. On the other hand, the federal government in Berne has repeatedly refused Socialist calls to intervene and says it will leave the matter up to the individual Cantons.
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Old 09.09.2011, 09:37
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Re: Lowest Lump-Sum tax Canton

So you want us to help you lower your tax bill, and at the same time we will all pay a little bit more tax?

And you get to smugly read your bank statements every month, thinking yippee I'm a big important guy, I don't pay so much tax as my neighbour.

Isn't it time you came down to earth and rejoined the human race? You could stop behaving like a third world leader and re-learn that Switzerland is clean and beautiful and safe: because the citizens set a higher standard than other countries, and are prepared to pay for that with their local taxes.

If you want to stay here with a clear conscious and sleep well at night, pay up and don't be a skinflint.
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Old 09.09.2011, 10:03
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Re: Lowest Lump-Sum tax Canton

Current tax the OP pays in Switzerland: 0
Tax he will pay if he moves to any of the abovementioned cantons, lump sum or no lump sum: more than 0


Care to explain how the OP's moving here will increase the tax burden on the rest of us? I can't see it.
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Old 09.09.2011, 10:04
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Re: Lowest Lump-Sum tax Canton

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If you want to stay here with a clear conscious and sleep well at night, pay up and don't be a skinflint.
Why wouldn't he have a clear conscience and sleep well at night? He's just looking for a 'tax efficient' Kanton...

Just saying...
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Old 09.09.2011, 10:29
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Re: Lowest Lump-Sum tax Canton

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Why wouldn't he have a clear conscience and sleep well at night? He's just looking for a 'tax efficient' Kanton...

Just saying...
My experience in Kanton Aargau with clients looking to settle here for the same reasons is that there are some other conditions that need to be met so be sure to look into those as well.
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Old 09.09.2011, 10:34
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Re: Lowest Lump-Sum tax Canton

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Current tax the OP pays in Switzerland: 0
Tax he will pay if he moves to any of the abovementioned cantons, lump sum or no lump sum: more than 0


Care to explain how the OP's moving here will increase the tax burden on the rest of us? I can't see it.
I misread that. I assumed he was already here.
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Old 09.09.2011, 10:41
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Re: Lowest Lump-Sum tax Canton

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Why wouldn't he have a clear conscience and sleep well at night? He's just looking for a 'tax efficient' Kanton...

Just saying...
Vaud is not a tax efficient canton, the normal rate is quite high, but they try and attract these people away from low tax Fribourg by promising a lower tax demand.

Do you feel good after screwing people out of money? The tax laws are there for everybody, not only for the poorest 99%.

I really cannot stand these rich people, many are just mean and greedy. What are they doing with all the wealth they have gained from the communal pot? Simply making more for themselves. Why didn't the OP ask an accountant this question? It would have cost him peanuts and he would have got a better answer. Why didn't he? Maybe he is also mean and greedy.
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Old 09.09.2011, 10:54
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Re: Lowest Lump-Sum tax Canton

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Do you feel good after screwing people out of money? The tax laws are there for everybody, not only for the poorest 99%.
By that rational do you feel bad because you live in Switzerland? Pay lower taxes than people in the rest of Europe? Get paid in one of the best currencies around at the minute? I don't

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I really cannot stand these rich people, many are just mean and greedy.
What are they doing with all the wealth they have gained from the communal pot?
"Greed is good..." Abraham Lincoln.

I'm all for sharing the wealth and all but I think this is a discussion for another thread...
And communal pot? Are you russian?

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Why didn't the OP ask an accountant this question? It would have cost him peanuts and he would have got a better answer. Why didn't he? Maybe he is also mean and greedy.
I guess he didn't for the same reason he made the minimum 2mil that you need to qualify, or maybe he was just lazy like the rest of the members who come on here
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Old 09.09.2011, 10:59
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Re: Lowest Lump-Sum tax Canton

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The tax laws are there for everybody, not only for the poorest 99%.
Careful...you might already belong to the richest 1% in the world -> check here
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Old 09.09.2011, 11:12
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Re: Lowest Lump-Sum tax Canton

@ Micky G

You do need to chat with a lawyer (and my suggestion would be one in Lausanne for VD and one in Geneva for GE). They will present your specific case to the cantonal authorities who will come back with a specific number. A lawyer is the one who does this work. Not an accountant.

From that you can decide on which of the two cantons you would prefer. From a living/quality of life perspective, most people would choose VD (as you see from the numbers).

And yes, keep in mind (and ask the question) about the rates rising in the future. There is a fair amount of political pressure to "make a gesture" by increasing the annual tax for people on the lump-sum system.
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Old 09.09.2011, 11:29
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Re: Lowest Lump-Sum tax Canton

What levels of income / savings would you need to negotiate a lump sum forfait?
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Old 09.09.2011, 11:40
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Re: Lowest Lump-Sum tax Canton

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What levels of income / savings would you need to negotiate a lump sum forfait?
Read somewhere that it's minimum CHF2 mil...
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Old 09.09.2011, 12:49
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Re: Lowest Lump-Sum tax Canton

Income or savings?
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Old 09.09.2011, 13:08
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Re: Lowest Lump-Sum tax Canton

A good explanation of lump sum taxation can be found here:

http://www.efd.admin.ch/dokumentatio...x.html?lang=en

"The basic prerequisite for lump-sum taxation is that the persons concerned must not pursue an occupation in Switzerland. This type of taxation is available to those who make Switzerland their tax home for the first time or after at least ten years outside the country. Foreigners enjoy this right indefinitely, while it is limited to the first year of residence for Swiss citizens returning from abroad."



It should be remembered that lump-sum is only possible for people who are not 'pursuing an occupation' in Switzerland.

So, these folks are not 'cheating', they are not avoiding paying their fair share. They are not working here and so would otherwise not be paying income tax. A gazillionaire who is working in Switzerland is taxed normally - and pays a lot into the communal coffers.

StirB - according to the above link, there is no minimum income if one meets the requirements.
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Old 09.09.2011, 13:12
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Re: Lowest Lump-Sum tax Canton

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Read somewhere that it's minimum CHF2 mil...
That's not correct in terms of income.
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