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  #21  
Old 22.11.2011, 14:34
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Re: Need legal advice

It may well be that you have to go over the head of the contact at the tax office and contact her superior.

Some years ago when we lived in the town of Zurich and still had a house in the UK we queried the Vermögensteuer (wealth tax) we were asked to pay on the UK house. We (my partner is Swiss) made an appointment with the tax official and went down there and had a face to face meeting.

The official was pleasant, helpful and very reasonable and said as both the pound and property prices in the UK were falling (as it appears is now a permanent state of affairs) he would accept half the valuation we had shown.

Likewise, in Thalwil on the sale of our house there we had discussions as to what the capitals gains tax (Grundstuckgeweinsteuer) would be and how to avoid having to pay it. There we called in during office hours without any appointment and someone saw us for 20 minutes.

So what I am saying is that tax officials do see tax payers directly and in my experience are friendly and helpful and actually are interested in getting it right, even if it means they get less tax...
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  #22  
Old 22.11.2011, 14:38
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Re: Need legal advice

Good luck, Helm!!! Let us know how it turns out. Us foreigners are pulling for you!
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  #23  
Old 22.11.2011, 14:40
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Re: Need legal advice

indeed it seems odd, when I was 'contracting' the tax office got our tax wrong every year, we have a proper tax accountant and he fills in our forms etc and that's who they contact, never me directly, one year they said we owed xxxx chf, the accountant said pay, I didn't think we did so phoned the tax office directly, spoke english to the tax guy, gave him the proof he wanted that I was a specialist and an expat on a fixed assignment and got a rather large tax rebate back

eta the accountant is based in zurich and is a proper practice recognised by the tax office, not some guy at work who does it on the side
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  #24  
Old 22.11.2011, 14:41
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Re: Need legal advice

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It may well be that you have to go over the head of the contact at the tax office and contact her superior.

Some years ago when we lived in the town of Zurich and still had a house in the UK we queried the Vermögensteuer (wealth tax) we were asked to pay on the UK house. We (my partner is Swiss) made an appointment with the tax official and went down there and had a face to face meeting.

The official was pleasant, helpful and very reasonable and said as both the pound and property prices in the UK were falling (as it appears is now a permanent state of affairs) he would accept half the valuation we had shown.

Likewise, in Thalwil on the sale of our house there we had discussions as to what the capitals gains tax (Grundstuckgeweinsteuer) would be and how to avoid having to pay it. There we called in during office hours without any appointment and someone saw us for 20 minutes.

So what I am saying is that tax officials do see tax payers directly and in my experience are friendly and helpful and actually are interested in getting it right, even if it means they get less tax...
Likewise, I always had good & polite help from tax officials - so as I posted above maybe there is more to this story?
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  #25  
Old 22.11.2011, 14:42
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Re: Need legal advice

Ok guys, I'm trying really hard not to get too much details into this thread, since my objective was to find a lawyer that could help us, which some nice people gave me.

I hope you understand that I cannot get into deep details in our case. First because I'd either have to state the name of the company husband was working with, the name of the racist in the Steuarmt, writing numbers or too much personal information.

I hope you guys understand. I know you would like to have all the juicy bits to try to help me find a solution. I thank you for that. But I have wasted all my latin looking for solutions with tax accountants and company laywers, and everyone is just throwing the hot potato to the next one because no-one wants to take responsability for their mistakes.

We want to get a professional advice because I am not totally sure the company itself is not to blame for the tight spot we find ourselves in.

Again thank you for the help, and I hope you can understand I can't get into details. The racist remarks are the only thing I can post because I just find them outstanding...
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  #26  
Old 22.11.2011, 14:51
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Re: Need legal advice

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Likewise, I always had good & polite help from tax officials - so as I posted above maybe there is more to this story?
My first encounter with the tax officials in my city:

I have the whole declarations in a tight little envelope to be delievered. I go to the Gemeinde. I look on the shield which floor is the tax department.

I find their door. I knock politely. I enter, smile and say "Gute Morgen!".

The woman raises her angry look over her glasses.

"What do YOU want?"

"I would like to deliever my taxes please."

"Are you blind? Did you see the poster on the door?"

"I'm sorry, I didn't..."

"It clearly says you are to drop the envelopes on the box outside, without bothering us here inside"


So yes, always a pleasant experiment!
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  #27  
Old 22.11.2011, 14:54
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Re: Need legal advice

why are you doing it yourself?? if you have an accountant they should be doing it and dealing with the tax office muppet, not you
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  #28  
Old 22.11.2011, 14:58
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Re: Need legal advice

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why are you doing it yourself?? if you have an accountant they should be doing it and dealing with the tax office muppet, not you
Because that was the first time we did it and at the time we had no accountant And we didn't have a problem that year!
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  #29  
Old 22.11.2011, 14:59
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Re: Need legal advice

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Because that was the first time we did it and at the time we had no accountant And we didn't have a problem that year!

so why isn't your accountant dealing with it now?? I don't understand why you are speaking to the tax office directly
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  #30  
Old 22.11.2011, 22:35
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Re: Need legal advice

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Outrageous. I would also complain here: . Another possibility is here: http://www.zav.ch/service/rechtsauskunft.html Good luck.
I don't know quite what happened to the first link. It should be: http://www.ombudsmann.zh.ch/ombudsmann.htm. This could be useful in terms of making the lovely lady at the tax office take things a bit more seriously. It is a free service so certainly worth checking out.
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  #31  
Old 22.11.2011, 22:50
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Re: Need legal advice

Could it be that your husband believes he is self employed, when the tax office beleive he is an employee working for 1 company on a contract. If that is the case there would be very little expenses to deduct & a huge amount of extra social costs to pay.

If you self employed you have to be taking the risk of losing money, if you turn up at company premises & work normal office hours then you would be an employee.
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  #32  
Old 22.11.2011, 23:19
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Re: Need legal advice

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We have very solid legal grounds.
I work as a lawyer. If you have very solid legal grounds, there would appear to be good grounds to bring a case.

However, the field of tax law is very specialised, and I would not be inclined to use a 'free half-hour/low fee service." These lawyers are generalists and would be unlikely to be able to supply the knock-out blow which you require.

You say you have been charged (and paid) a four digit figure, so it's somewhere between CHF 1,000 and CHF 9,999 - let's say it's CHF 5,000. And it is also recurring for 3 or 4 years, so we are talking about approximately CHF 20,000 in dispute.

Added to this is the emotional distress, and the satisfaction of potentially proving the tax office wrong. This is priceless.

Hence, with CHF 20,000 and your pride at stake surely it is worth it to appoint a reputable Zurich law firm who specialises in tax law, day in, day out.

Yes it will cost, but the chances of winning are significantly higher.
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