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Old 04.11.2012, 23:46
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Tax system doubts

Hello everyone,

I'm currently thinking about moving to Switzerland and I have some doubts about the taxation system.
I'm from Portugal and almost all taxes are deducted directly from my salary (withholding tax) but I heard that in Switzerland expats pay taxes at the end of the year.

I used the site http://www.lohncomputer.ch and I simulated a salary of 10000 CHF/month to Zurich and the result was this:

Net Salary - 7.785,70 CHF

Total deductions (22,14%) - 2.214,30

OASI premium - 515,00 CHF
ALV premium - 110,00 CHF
Non-w. rel. a. premium - 165,00 CHF
KTG premium - 40,00 CHF
Pension Fund - 552,30 CHF
Withholding tax - 832,00 CHF

Can you explain me how this works? I will only receive the 7.785,70CHF per month and not pay nothing at the end of the year or I receive the 10000 CHF and I pay my taxes at the end of the year? Or I'm completely wrong?

I really appreciate your help on this.
Thanks in advance,
Paulo
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Old 04.11.2012, 23:53
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Re: Tax system doubts

I suspect you will have some extra tax to pay if your single.

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Hello everyone,

I'm currently thinking about moving to Switzerland and I have some doubts about the taxation system.
I'm from Portugal and almost all taxes are deducted directly from my salary (withholding tax) but I heard that in Switzerland expats pay taxes at the end of the year.

I used the site http://www.lohncomputer.ch and I simulated a salary of 10000 CHF/month to Zurich and the result was this:

Net Salary - 7.785,70 CHF

Total deductions (22,14%) - 2.214,30

OASI premium - 515,00 CHF
ALV premium - 110,00 CHF
Non-w. rel. a. premium - 165,00 CHF
KTG premium - 40,00 CHF
Pension Fund - 552,30 CHF
Withholding tax - 832,00 CHF

Can you explain me how this works? I will only receive the 7.785,70CHF per month and not pay nothing at the end of the year or I receive the 10000 CHF and I pay my taxes at the end of the year? Or I'm completely wrong?

I really appreciate your help on this.
Thanks in advance,
Paulo
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Old 04.11.2012, 23:59
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Re: Tax system doubts

fatmanfilms thanks for your reply.

I'm married and I simulated my real scenario and an hypothetical salary.

My doubt is not the percentage of taxes, I already found several sites to calculate net salary, my doubt is when will I pay the taxes, if it's monthly with holding taxes or anually? Or even if there are taxes that are monthly and others anually, and if this is true witch are they?

Thanks
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Old 05.11.2012, 00:01
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Re: Tax system doubts

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fatmanfilms thanks for your reply.

I'm married and I simulated my real scenario and an hypothetical salary.

My doubt is not the percentage of taxes, I already found several sites to calculate net salary, my doubt is when will I pay the taxes, if it's monthly with holding taxes or anually? Or even if there are taxes that are monthly and others anually, and if this is true witch are they?

Thanks
You would pay monthly withholding. If you make more than 120,000 CHF a year, you have to file a tax return annually and, depending on where you live specifically, you end up paying more tax or receiving a refund. More information: http://www.estv.admin.ch/dokumentati...x.html?lang=en
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Old 05.11.2012, 10:12
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Re: Tax system doubts

Anowheels is right.

I feel a potential sticky post coming on. We are getting a lot of variants of this sort of question recently.
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Old 05.11.2012, 10:33
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Re: Tax system doubts

CHF10,00 is your gross figure with the CHF7,785.70 your net figure after all the deductions shown, including withholding tax, are made so CHF7,785.70 is what will be paid into your bank account each month. This is assuming you're on a B permit and earn under CHF120,000 per year.

After 5 years you will get a C permit and change to paying tax yearly by filling in a tax form. You don't have to pay the tax as one payment, although you can get a small reduction if you do. Otherwise you will be sent the usual pink payment slips to pay the tax over nine months. For example here in Fribourg our tax forms are received in late January/early February and must be filled in and returned by 1st March. In April we receive the pink slips, both for complete payment or monthly installments. The monthly installments are then payable from May to the following January inclusive, giving 9 monthly payments. Then the cycle starts all over again. The monthly payment slips cover the cantonal and commune taxes while the Federal tax is most often paid as a lump sum once a year. However, at least here in Fribourg, you can get what they call voluntary federal tax account payment slips so you can pay your federal tax bill over 6 months.

The easiest way to make sure you have enough funds to pay your tax obligations is simply have another bank or post office account that you use for putting aside money to pay the tax and other stuff. We use our post office account for this and I transfer a set amount from our bank account every month to cover the tax and a little extra in case of any emergencies.
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Old 05.11.2012, 10:35
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Re: Tax system doubts

Correct although, different cantons have different "tranche/akkonto". Schwyz is 3 payments for cantonal, 1 for federal if memory serves.
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Old 05.11.2012, 10:35
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Re: Tax system doubts

I've been living in Switzerland for the last 11 months and now have to tackle taxes. I assume there are accountants who can help? If so, if someone has a name of someone who can help please feel free to pass them along.

Thank you!
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Old 05.11.2012, 10:38
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Re: Tax system doubts

In simple terms, when you arrive, tax will be deducted at source. You won't pay tax yourself.

After some years, you will get a different permit and then you will be invited to pay your tax during the year - not at the end of it. For example, I think I paid in three instalments in March, June and September this year.

It seems scary at first but relax. Unless you're foolish with money and don't prepare yourself, you'll suffer.

When I went from a B to a C permit, I simply set up a parallel account into which I paid a monthly amount to cover my taxes. That worked very well for years. Now I don't care any more.....in fact I do believe I've not paid anything for 2011 yet
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Old 05.11.2012, 10:39
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Re: Tax system doubts

I don't have a name, but if you contact your cantonal tax office they should be able to help you fill in the forms. Once you have them done, make sure to keep your copy in a safe place so you can find it to use as a reference next year.
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Old 05.11.2012, 10:41
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Re: Tax system doubts

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Correct although, different cantons have different "tranche/akkonto". Schwyz is 3 payments for cantonal, 1 for federal if memory serves.
Yes, the cantons differ both on payments and when the forms have to be returned. I know that in several other cantons the forms don't have to be back until the end of March.
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Old 05.11.2012, 11:39
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Re: Tax system doubts

The OP should realise there are 26 different Cantons, with varying rules. A check should be made with your Canton website, or better still visit them, they are all extremely helpful. Usually in at least first 5 years you will be taxed at source, and unless you earn more than CHF 120'000 per year, that is final. You can apply for a full tax evaluation, but you might end up paying more!

In the beginning of the year there appear on the Coop and Migros pin boards private adverts offering help with completing the tax forms. The advertiser is often a tax office employee, and is making a little extra money, usually CHF 100 or 200 for a simple tax claim, more if you own property. It is important to keep all the annual account statements you receive in January/February covering the previous 12 months tax year.
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Old 05.11.2012, 12:17
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Re: Tax system doubts

Some cities actually pay you quite a good interest rate if you pay all your taxes for the year in advance (possible with the above mentioned C-permit) .
I'm not sure if there actually is a way to get the money back should you need it, but if you have the money and don't plan to do or buy anything big with it, it's a rather good investment IMO.
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