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Old 27.11.2013, 15:08
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My own house – can I claim a new bathroom sink against taxes

We own our own house and both of the bathroom sinks are cracked (have been getting gradually worse over the last year). The house is 17yrs old. Can I deduct the cost of the replacement sinks against income tax if I buy them in Germany or do I have to get a swiss tradesman to supply and fit them? Also should I document the condition of the existing sinks (photos) in case the tax authorities question my claim?
Thanks for the advice.
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Old 27.11.2013, 15:11
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Re: My own house – can I claim a new bathroom sink against taxes

Tax relief in Switzerland is given only for improvements, not for maintenance.
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Old 27.11.2013, 15:19
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Re: My own house – can I claim a new bathroom sink against taxes

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Tax relief in Switzerland is given only for improvements, not for maintenance.
Far from it:

If you own the home, and fill out a Swiss tax return the following is true:

- each year you can opt to either deduct 20% of the eigenmietwert OR itemised maintenance costs. A maintenance cost is categorised as anyting that helps maintain the value of the property. (see later)

- you can also maintain a list (preferably with receipts) of any items used to improve the value of the property. When you sell the property you can deduct this amount from the Mehrwert amount.

This is where things get tricky. If your tap breaks you can replace it with a similar type of tap - and deduct the cost as maintenance. If however you decide to replace the tap with a gold tap - you can deduct the cost of the like for like replacement from maintenance and the difference recorded as improving the value.

It addition, don't expect to be able to put through a new washing machine or kitchen every 5 years. Stuff is expected to last.

The Swiss can spend days discussing the best way to optimise their tax when it comes to property!
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Old 27.11.2013, 15:29
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Re: My own house – can I claim a new bathroom sink against taxes

Only improvements are allowed in Bern and Freiburg. New bathroom yes, new tap no.
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Old 27.11.2013, 15:32
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Re: My own house – can I claim a new bathroom sink against taxes

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Only improvements are allowed in Bern and Freiburg. New bathroom yes, new tap no.
Against income or capital gains??

Is there no deduction for maintenance against eigenmietwert in these cantons?
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Old 27.11.2013, 15:36
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Re: My own house – can I claim a new bathroom sink against taxes

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Is there no deduction for maintenance against eigenmietwert in these cantons?
Not as far as I know, no.
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Old 27.11.2013, 15:40
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Re: My own house – can I claim a new bathroom sink against taxes

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Only improvements are allowed in Bern and Freiburg. New bathroom yes, new tap no.
It is the other way round.

Art. 36 StG Bern http://www.sta.be.ch/belex/d/6/661_11.html
Grundstücksunterhalt und -verwaltung

1 Bei Grundstücken im Privatvermögen können die Unterhaltskosten, die Versicherungsprämien, die Liegenschaftssteuern der Gemeinde und die Kosten der Verwaltung durch Dritte abgezogen werden.
2 Die steuerpflichtige Person kann für Grundstücke des Privatvermögens anstelle der tatsächlichen Kosten und Prämien einen Pauschalabzug geltend machen.

and
Art. 1 VUBV http://www.sta.be.ch/belex/d/6/661_312_51.html

Art. 1 Unterhalt
1 Zu den Kosten des Unterhalts gehören:
a die Auslagen für die Behebung von Schäden (Reparaturen);
[...]
2 Nicht abziehbar sind insbesondere:
a wertvermehrende Aufwendungen für Neueinrichtungen und Verbesserungen von Grundstücken; wertvermehrende Umbaukosten liegen vor, wenn sie entweder den Gebrauchswert der Liegenschaft erhöhen oder die jährlichen Betriebskosten senken. Die kantonale Steuerverwaltung erlässt Richtlinien für die Abgrenzung dieser Aufwendungen;
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Old 27.11.2013, 15:41
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Re: My own house – can I claim a new bathroom sink against taxes

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Not as far as I know, no.
It says you can here

.....Die Steuerpflichtigen können von ihrem Einkommen die Hypothekarzinsen sowie die Liegenschaftsunterhaltskosten in Abzug bringen.

....You can deduct the interest costs of the mortgage and maintenance costs.

This highlights what can be claimed
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Old 27.11.2013, 15:57
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Re: My own house – can I claim a new bathroom sink against taxes

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It says you can here

.....Die Steuerpflichtigen können von ihrem Einkommen die Hypothekarzinsen sowie die Liegenschaftsunterhaltskosten in Abzug bringen.

....You can deduct the interest costs of the mortgage and maintenance costs.

This highlights what can be claimed
Sorry. Yes we have indeed been deducting interest costs, but not specifically against the hypothetical rentable income, which is how I understood your initial question.
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Old 27.11.2013, 16:30
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Re: My own house – can I claim a new bathroom sink against taxes

I file the maximum permitted maintenance in my tax return for my properties.

Major renovation is parked to be used against gains tax as and when I sell the properties.

Talk to a tax consultant.
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