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Old 19.09.2012, 01:37
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Habitable space for tax declaration

We recently bought a property and have been asked to provide room numbers and habitable space details for the tax authorities.

We're not sure what is classed as habitable space.....for example :

- are stairwells, cellars, etc included?

- What rooms in the basement count (eg a study and a shower room /buanderie)?

- Is it just the inner dimensions of each room or are the walls included? So for example is the whole footprint of the ground floor included irrespective of whether it is usable space or wall
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Old 19.09.2012, 09:17
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Re: Habitable space for tax declaration

You really should check with your cantonal tax authority, as I understand that the interpretation can vary somewhat.

In our house all heated areas are considered habitable - i.e., taxable - space. This includes hallways, kitchen, bathrooms, landings, even the laundry room and workshop in the cellar. The only space in the house that is not included are the two unheated cellar storage areas.

At the last reassessment, the nice gentleman increased our taxable space. Previously the laundry room and workshop had not been counted - even though heated - but now they are.

The assessor came with one of those laser measuring thingies to determine the m2 - I assume that means inside dimensions.

But I understand from friends living elsewhere that all sorts of different calculations are done. So speak to the Steueramt.
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Old 19.09.2012, 11:47
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Re: Habitable space for tax declaration

Be very careful with this. It could cost significantly if you get it wrong.

Best to look at the paperwork received from the previous owner and continue with the figures he/she used, and if in doubt contact your notaire.

In general, only livable spaces are included, ie. heated and to a comfort level for daily living. So things like a raw basement or unheated attic are generally not included. However, here in VD there are indeed a lot of 'undeclared' renovations, ie. when someone upgrades a basement and uses as a den or office, this should be added to the livable space in the regie fonciere and in the tax forms, but a lot of people hide it and basically underreport livable space to get off with less taxes. So do tread very carfully here.

From your minimal description, sounds like someone upgraded the basement, but do check if this is included or not, it probably should if upgraded but the previous owner may have been delinquent in this and it could cause problems.
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Old 19.09.2012, 11:53
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Re: Habitable space for tax declaration

Be careful as your only allowed so much habitable space on a building plot, there can be a few hundred feet that don't count.......if some of this space becomes habitable then there will be a fine to pay or worse such as a requirement to remove part of the house.
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