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Old 28.03.2013, 04:39
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Reclaiming Source Tax / Quellensteuer on Income Received After Leaving Switzerland

Dear fellow EF members,

I have been puzzled with a source tax issue and after looking through the threads in the forum with no luck I have decided to create a new post.

The issue here is on the exorbitant source tax levied on one-off bonus / large salary payments.

I used to work in Switzerland as an expat and left late 2011.

I was always taxed at source and filed a tax return at the end of the year to claim any overpaid tax. Most of this overpaid tax came from a bonus payment
which would normally be paid all in one month, increasing the Quellensteuer rate for that month significantly.

I never bothered asking my employer to spread out this amount over the year to decrease the monthly Quellensteuer as I was always able to claim it back from the tax return. Besides, most employers would probably not bother doing it anyway.

This is where things went wrong. I had a deferred bonus payment that I only received in 2012. I have been informed by my tax accountant and the Kanton tax office that as I had left Switzerland on the payment date, I will not be able to file a tax return for 2012 and hence no return will be given.

This sounds a bit silly as the high Quellensteuer rate is based on the assumption that this bonus amount is a recurring monthly payment while it is simply a one-off.

Under Quellensteuer Tariff A, anything above 60k is taxed 24%. Assume that the payment was a one-off 60k you would have to pay this 24% tax. If this was distributed across the year resulting in 5k monthly payments the tax would be 3.16%.

This means that you have effectively handed out 12.5k worth of tax you'll never see again.

Has anyone else had bonus / large payments paid out after leaving Switzerland?

If so, were you able to claim some of this overpaid source tax back?

I would really appreciate any advice.

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quellensteuer, source tax, tax rebate, tax refund, tax return

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