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Old 22.11.2011, 14:33
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Need legal advice

Dear EFrs...

I had a first encounter with a 7 headed hydra, called usually as "the lady from the tax office in Zürich".

We have been ordered to pay a 4 digit number for the taxes of 2009, which will repeat itself in 2010 taxes. We have played by the rules. We delivered all the information needed, correct, with copies of all expenses.

The tax office in Zürich, though, has refused our response. In her words:

-"I refuse to talk to a private person. If you want to talk to me, you have to hire a lawyer. You are a common layman and will not be able to understand what I am talking about"
-"You are a foreigner, it suits you well to have to pay extra"
-"I'm tired of having to deal with foreigners cheating on taxes. I don't care what you think, you have to pay"
-"I don't care that the law says that all cantons have to accept the Spesenreglement from other cantons. That's only true for all cantons except mine"
-"It's your job to make sure your boss doesn't try to cheat on the taxes. If he does, it's your problem, and it suits you well to have to pay for a less honest boss" (btw, boss is actually innocent)
-"I received your letter, but I refuse to read it, even if it has wording from a tax specialist. If you want to get your money back, there is only one solution: you pay, and then can hire a lawyer to try to get your money back"
-"As a foreigner, you should be happy to live in such a liberal great country as Switzerland. If I decide you need to pay more tax, it's your duty to do so if you want to continue in this great country"


Her tactic seems to be "you're a foreigner, so you will probably give up on the idea of hiring a lawyer". I am very tired of the constant insults, racist remarks from this woman. The whole thing is fuelling me to the point of extreme anger.

I remember people referring the possibility to consult a lawyer for max. 30 minutes for free/small fee. I would like to try to consult one to find out if it is worth persuing the matter, because this is making me lose my sleep. I can pay the tax bill (I've done it already) but the whole slander that I am trying to cheat on the taxes and we dirty foreigners should be kicked out coming from a state worker is freaking me out.

Could someone point me in the right direction? Thank you.

A very distressed law-abiding foreign citizen.
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  #2  
Old 22.11.2011, 14:37
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Re: Need legal advice

I'm guessing that a tax accountant would be able to work out if you owe tax or not.

So maybe get a tax accountant.
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Old 22.11.2011, 14:40
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Re: Need legal advice

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I'm guessing that a tax accountant would be able to work out if you owe tax or not.

So maybe get a tax accountant.
I already had the tax accountant (he was the one writing one of the refute letters she refused to read). I need a real lawyer advice.
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Old 22.11.2011, 14:43
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Re: Need legal advice

Were you speaking standard German by any chance? Never a good idea in canton ZH.

Otherwise the woman is right. Unless a lawyer intervenes on your behalf (and takes them to court eventually), you don't stand a chance. Being able to misrepresent or to ignore the law, as well as being rude to patrons, seems to be considered some sort of perk that comes with the job by some in the tax administration, the banks, the social security bodies, or the civil service. I've experienced this attitude in the UK, Germany, Luxembourg and Switzerland.
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Old 22.11.2011, 14:44
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Re: Need legal advice

Well if the accountant is sure that you don't owe the tax and the tax is more than the cost of a lawyer then that's probably all you can do.

Seems odd that they are so hostile, but it is normal to pay and then claim it back afterwards as far as I know.

Maybe they will be more reasonable after you pay the bill and sort it out, but don't quote me on that...
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Old 22.11.2011, 14:49
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Re: Need legal advice

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Were you speaking standard German by any chance? Never a good idea in canton ZH.

Otherwise the woman is right. Unless a lawyer intervenes on your behalf (and takes them to court eventually), you don't stand a chance. Being able to misrepresent or to ignore the law, as well as being rude to patrons, seems to be considered some sort of perk that comes with the job by some in the tax administration, the banks, the social security bodies, or the civil service. I've experienced this attitude in the UK, Germany, Luxembourg and Switzerland.
Was husband, who is German, talking to her. So yes.

We used the tax accountant from his old company to refute the charges. But she simply very, very rudely refuses on the grounds that we are simply trying to throw sand into her eyes to cover the fact that we are trying to cheat on the taxes.

One of her points is "I have read your file, and you do not meet the requirements to be considered a specialist". The contract of my husband says in big f@cking letters "ORACLE SPECIALIST". And so does the diplomas he got from Oracle. He was forming Oracle specialists in Dresden, for crying out loud!

Did I dream about the possibility to contact a lawyer for a first time for free? I think I remember to see such posts in domestic abuse/ renting abuse threads. I can't find it anywhere.
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Old 22.11.2011, 14:50
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Re: Need legal advice

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Maybe they will be more reasonable after you pay the bill and sort it out, but don't quote me on that...
As said in original post, I have paid it already, right after we sent a letter of refutal.
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Old 22.11.2011, 14:53
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Re: Need legal advice

does his employer have an agreement with the authorities with regards to Spesen (expenses)?

I assume he's being taxed on an expenses lump sum rather than business travel and other expenses?
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Old 22.11.2011, 14:58
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Re: Need legal advice

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Was husband, who is German, talking to her. So yes.

We used the tax accountant from his old company to refute the charges. But she simply very, very rudely refuses on the grounds that we are simply trying to throw sand into her eyes to cover the fact that we are trying to cheat on the taxes.

One of her points is "I have read your file, and you do not meet the requirements to be considered a specialist". The contract of my husband says in big f@cking letters "ORACLE SPECIALIST". And so does the diplomas he got from Oracle. He was forming Oracle specialists in Dresden, for crying out loud!

Did I dream about the possibility to contact a lawyer for a first time for free? I think I remember to see such posts in domestic abuse/ renting abuse threads. I can't find it anywhere.
Your husband doesn't have an East German accent, does he? That seems to wind up Swiss folks even more than "ordinary" German.

Otherwise, calling yourself a "specialist" doesn't mean you are one, at least not for the tax office. Try the Rechtsauskunftsstellen, but if you want a lawyer to represent your case against the tax office, you'll have to pay.
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Old 22.11.2011, 14:58
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Re: Need legal advice

Ask your bank to recommend a tax lawyer, and then file an objection, and submit evidence of the woman's attitude.

There are places where you can get 30 minutes of free advice, but I don't think they write letters for you.

You can appeal yourself in writing over the level of taxes, there should be a mention of where, on the cantonal tax website.

You could also send copies of her bad correspondence to her boss.
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Old 22.11.2011, 14:59
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Re: Need legal advice

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does his employer have an agreement with the authorities with regards to Spesen (expenses)?

I assume he's being taxed on an expenses lump sum rather than business travel and other expenses?
The point with the Spesen is the tip of the iceberg, which has to do with canton rivalry (which tax accountant, who is I guess quite into the subject, agrees is no point for her to grab).

The whole list I posted is not at all a list of my problem, but example of the absurd way she is dealing with us.

I just want to be pointed into the right lawyer... It's not a matter of getting the money back (I don't believe I can get it back). It's validating our facts for the taxes of 2010 (coming next year) and getting our innocense proved.
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Old 22.11.2011, 15:03
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Re: Need legal advice

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There are places where you can get 30 minutes of free advice, but I don't think they write letters for you.
That's the information I am looking for!!!!!

I'm not looking to get my problems solved here (i know EFrs are awesome but I don't think anyone can help me seriously with my case).

I just would like to consult with a lawyer to find out if it is worth going forward, and how much would the bill be for the laywer in case we go forward.

Quote:
Your husband doesn't have an East German accent, does he? That seems to wind up Swiss folks even more than "ordinary" German.

Otherwise, calling yourself a "specialist" doesn't mean you are one, at least not for the tax office.
He is from East Germany, but he lost the accent a long time ago. He doesn't call himself a specialist. The company he paid to get the title, and the companies that hired him on that basis do.

Thanks for the link! *thumbs up*
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Old 22.11.2011, 15:04
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Re: Need legal advice

The"quotations" is this the things she was actually saying to you? If so I would take her name and file a discrimination suit against her its one thing paying your taxes but another being verbally discriminated against. You can send a complaint to her bosses and another you can go to the police department and file a complaint about her. If you do make the effort keep me informed and I will advise you on your next steps.
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Old 22.11.2011, 15:05
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Re: Need legal advice

Seems like a very pleasant lady.

You should remind her that her great country is only so great because us scummy foreigners bring our money here.

Ask if she knows how deep lake zurich is, and would she like to find out
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Old 22.11.2011, 15:06
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Re: Need legal advice

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That's the information I am looking for!!!!!
http://www.stadt-zuerich.ch/prd/de/i...gsstellen.html

Rechtsauskunftsstelle Anwaltskollektiv
Rechtsberatung mit dem Ziel "Hilfe zur Selbsthilfe"; Sprechstunden ohne Voranmeldung
Kosten: Fr. 60.- für ca. 30 Minuten
Montag bis Freitag 12.30-18.30 Uhr
Adresse: Kernstrasse 8, 8004 Zürich
Telefon: 044 241 24 33


Schlichtungsbehörde für Streitigkeiten über Diskriminierungen im Erwerbsleben
Die Schlichtungsbehörde ist keine Beratungsstelle, sie gibt aber telefonische Rechtsauskünfte zu Geltung und Inhalt des Gleichstellungsgesetzes und zu verfahrensrechtlichen Fragen
Adresse: Wengistrassse 30, 8004 Zürich
Telefon: 044 248 30 30
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Old 22.11.2011, 15:11
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Re: Need legal advice

Thank you guys! I knew I could count on you to point me into the right direction.

I might not be able to get anything back from what I paid, but I want to at least try to get a clean tax record, without some racist remark on red pain "possible cheating ausländer" on my file!

A very distress and angry üüslander.
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Old 22.11.2011, 15:15
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Re: Need legal advice

Another possibility:

Would your or your husband's company have someone in the legal department who could look into it for you? At least a cursory glance, to tell you if you are on solid ground, or not? Sometimes the Steueramt is more... ahem... reasonable when they are dealing with a company (and a Swiss one at that) than with an individual.

We had a similar experience with the cantonal Steueramt the first year we were here. They had added a zero to the amount we owed and insisted that we must pay that amount and request a refund later.

It took getting my husband's company's lawyer to write a letter to get them to see reason. The gentleman who took care of it for us joked that he had a template letter already on hand; it seemed that recalcitrant jobsworths in the Steueramt were a common problem.

But look on the bright side: When you (ultimately) get your refund, the interest rate the Steueramt is obligated to pay you is higher than what the banks are offering now...
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Old 22.11.2011, 15:23
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Re: Need legal advice

Outrageous. I would also complain here: . Another possibility is here: http://www.zav.ch/service/rechtsauskunft.html Good luck.
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Old 22.11.2011, 15:25
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Re: Need legal advice

We contacted the company of my husband. He stopped working for them in 2010, which brings some problems. The company is based in Solothurn, which brings extra problems.

But they accepted to use their legal department to write the letter to the Steueramt. We have very solid legal grounds.

After this letter was sent, defending that the Steueramt did shit, we got a letter from them.

"If you prove that a b and c are true, then we will reconsider your point"

We sent (again) proof that a b and c are true on the following day.

On the day we sent this letter, we received a new answer from the Steueramt (which means it was sent on the same or following day than the first response from them).

"Sign this to prove that you agree that you have paid 10 CHF too much. By signing this you agree that the decisions of the Steueramt are correct and final and you will received those 10 CHF on the next declaration. If you do not sign this, you will be taken to court and forced to pay extra."

So yeah... It looked like a bad taste joke.
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Old 22.11.2011, 15:33
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Re: Need legal advice

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We contacted the company of my husband. He stopped working for them in 2010, which brings some problems. The company is based in Solothurn, which brings extra problems.

But they accepted to use their legal department to write the letter to the Steueramt. We have very solid legal grounds.

After this letter was sent, defending that the Steueramt did shit, we got a letter from them.

"If you prove that a b and c are true, then we will reconsider your point"

We sent (again) proof that a b and c are true on the following day.

On the day we sent this letter, we received a new answer from the Steueramt (which means it was sent on the same or following day than the first response from them).

"Sign this to prove that you agree that you have paid 10 CHF too much. By signing this you agree that the decisions of the Steueramt are correct and final and you will received those 10 CHF on the next declaration. If you do not sign this, you will be taken to court and forced to pay extra."

So yeah... It looked like a bad taste joke.
All seems very strange!

Is your husband trying to work as freelance or sole trader?
If so then it does get complicated & the tax people do have strange & complex rules about who is allowed to & who not. So they decide who is allowed to claim the tax reliefs that are not available to regular employees.

If this is the case then start a GMBH.
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