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Old 07.03.2012, 15:35
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Which canton do I have to register/pay taxes in?

I just have a bunch of questions on tax law in Switzerland, and am not sure where I can find more information.

My girlfriend and I are both foreigners. I am working and paying taxes in canton A. She is working and paying taxes in canton B. We are renting two apartments, one in canton A and one in canton B. We do live together though, which means a lot of commuting between A and B and that we both spend a significant amount of time in both A and B. We could even spend more time in either (let's say we don't care where we spend our weekends).

It is a bit messy, but I will soon get a C permit (the actual "C", not a third letter in the alphabet , and am hoping to clarify/improve our situation.

There must be some decision at the federal level that imposes precise rules on where foreigners need to register and where they need to pay their taxes, but I can't find traces of that online.

Does anyone know anything about this, or where I could get more information? I am afraid that the tax authorities of either canton will simply tell me we have to pay taxes with their own...
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Old 07.03.2012, 15:38
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Re: Which canton do I have to register/pay taxes in?

One thing I didn t say: we are foreginers, but EU.
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Old 07.03.2012, 15:41
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Re: Which canton do I have to register/pay taxes in?

Sounds complicated... generally you pay taxes to the Canton you are registered in as you "main place of residence"
We also live in 2 Cantons but 1 is our main apartment and the other is our "work" aparment.
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Old 07.03.2012, 15:44
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Re: Which canton do I have to register/pay taxes in?

I suspect the strict test of whether you both live in canton 'A' or 'B' is whether both names appear on both leases. Then you should register in whichever apartment is your 'primary' residence.

If the lease on the apartment in Canton A is in your name, and the apartment in Canton B is in her name, then you should be registered in Canton A and she should be registered in Canton B.

I would also suggest that the address where your bank statements are sent, your salary statements are sent, etc would support this.
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Old 07.03.2012, 15:49
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Re: Which canton do I have to register/pay taxes in?

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I suspect the strict test of whether you both live in canton 'A' or 'B' is whether both names appear on both leases. Then you should register in whichever apartment is your 'primary' residence.
Both names are on both leases. The question is what defines 'primary' residence...
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Old 07.03.2012, 15:53
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Re: Which canton do I have to register/pay taxes in?

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Both names are on both leases. The question is what defines 'primary' residence...
The one with the lowest taxes of course, which is where you spend most of your time!
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Old 07.03.2012, 16:19
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Re: Which canton do I have to register/pay taxes in?

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Both names are on both leases. The question is what defines 'primary' residence...
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The one with the lowest taxes of course, which is where you spend most of your time!
+1 to this.

Just get her to register in your canton or you register in the canton in which she is registered, depending on whichever has a lower tax rate.

The tax obligation is determined by the canton where you are registered on the 31st of December of the relevant tax year as far as I read somewhere here.
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Old 07.03.2012, 22:49
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Re: Which canton do I have to register/pay taxes in?

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The tax obligation is determined by the canton where you are registered on the 31st of December of the relevant tax year as far as I read somewhere here.
That's correct. I moved from NE to ZG on 8th December 2011, and both cantons have now confirmed that I will pay all of my 2011 taxes in ZG. NE has just asked me for my bank details so that they can refund what I already paid there (i.e. the full year's tax).
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Old 07.03.2012, 23:04
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Re: Which canton do I have to register/pay taxes in?

This recently (like yesterday) came up, as my daughter is thinking of moving to ZH, and her boyfriend told here it would be cheaper to stay domiciled in TI.

I pointed out that in his case, he had moved to VD, which has higher taxes than TI, but ZH are lower!

Tom
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Old 07.03.2012, 23:09
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Re: Which canton do I have to register/pay taxes in?

you have some flexibility so choose what gives the best tax answer.
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Old 08.03.2012, 11:55
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Re: Which canton do I have to register/pay taxes in?

If you are going to be on C permit before the end of the year, you also need to calculate your taxes at the commune level. If she is still on B & you are on a C it might be possible that the answer to where is best to live is different.
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Old 08.03.2012, 12:32
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Re: Which canton do I have to register/pay taxes in?

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If you are going to be on C permit before the end of the year, you also need to calculate your taxes at the commune level. If she is still on B & you are on a C it might be possible that the answer to where is best to live is different.
exactly. your names don't need to be on both leases and you don't need to be registered in the same canton.
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Old 08.03.2012, 12:57
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Re: Which canton do I have to register/pay taxes in?

Doesn't Steuerdomizil depend on where the 'center of one's life' is deemed to be?

For instance, a couple of my neighbors (here in tax-friendly SZ) have residences in other cantons, but are careful to spend a certain number of days at their homes here (120 days rings a bell, but I'm not certain). Additionally, taking part in local Vereine and activities goes to proving the the 'center of life' bit.

(My little town doesn't check up on these things, as they are more than happy to accept the tax revenue. But from a few things my neighbor has mentioned, the other canton/Gemeinde might take an interest.)
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Old 08.03.2012, 13:25
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Doesn't Steuerdomizil depend on where the 'center of one's life' is deemed to be?

For instance, a couple of my neighbors (here in tax-friendly SZ) have residences in other cantons, but are careful to spend a certain number of days at their homes here (120 days rings a bell, but I'm not certain). Additionally, taking part in local Vereine and activities goes to proving the the 'center of life' bit.

(My little town doesn't check up on these things, as they are more than happy to accept the tax revenue. But from a few things my neighbor has mentioned, the other canton/Gemeinde might take an interest.)
If you blatantly take the piss you could gave a problem!
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Old 08.03.2012, 14:10
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Re: Which canton do I have to register/pay taxes in?

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This recently (like yesterday) came up, as my daughter is thinking of moving to ZH, and her boyfriend told here it would be cheaper to stay domiciled in TI.

I pointed out that in his case, he had moved to VD, which has higher taxes than TI, but ZH are lower!

Tom
It is not only the income tax. You have also to consider health insurance and road tax. And for students the eligibility for stipends has also to be considered.
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Old 08.03.2012, 14:26
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Re: Which canton do I have to register/pay taxes in?

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Doesn't Steuerdomizil depend on where the 'center of one's life' is deemed to be?

For instance, a couple of my neighbors (here in tax-friendly SZ) have residences in other cantons, but are careful to spend a certain number of days at their homes here (120 days rings a bell, but I'm not certain). Additionally, taking part in local Vereine and activities goes to proving the the 'center of life' bit.

(My little town doesn't check up on these things, as they are more than happy to accept the tax revenue. But from a few things my neighbor has mentioned, the other canton/Gemeinde might take an interest.)
Sure. And isn't this part of what the holiday property vote thing was about?

But in this case they are splitting their time between both places I don't think there is a one place where the "center of life" is. When they get to the stage of "moving in together", I'd guess they would give up one of the two places.
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