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Old 23.12.2014, 20:04
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Question: Tax bill from the Gemeinde for 2014 "Provisorisch" tax

Sorry to be dull at this festive time of year, but I have a tax question.

I am on a C-Permit from Dec 2013. So, things changed for me from this year, and I am not sure of the new process.

I got a tax bill from the Gemeinde a few weeks ago for "Provisorisch" tax for 2014.

- Why do I need to pay this now? I thought I only need to pay once I have done by 2014 tax return in early 2015..

- If I don't pay this bill and just wait until I have done my tax return, will they charge me interest on the unpaid amount, even though it is only provisional? (When does the real liability for 2014 tax start, now, or once it is definitive in 2015?)

- I got nothing so far from the Canton (BL) or the Federal tax office. Will I also be expected to pay them "provisionally"? When will these ones arrive?
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Old 23.12.2014, 20:14
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Re: Question: Tax bill from the Gemeinde for 2014 "Provisorisch" tax

You don't need to pay it but if you have been setting aside the money and you think that the amount is correct then why not? I think that interest starts accruing from 1st Jan.
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Old 23.12.2014, 20:15
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Re: Question: Tax bill from the Gemeinde for 2014 "Provisorisch" tax

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Sorry to be dull at this festive time of year, but I have a tax question.

I am on a C-Permit from Dec 2013. So, things changed for me from this year, and I am not sure of the new process.

I got a tax bill from the Gemeinde a few weeks ago for "Provisorisch" tax for 2014.

- Why do I need to pay this now? I thought I only need to pay once I have done by 2014 tax return in early 2015..

- If I don't pay this bill and just wait until I have done my tax return, will they charge me interest on the unpaid amount, even though it is only provisional? (When does the real liability for 2014 tax start, now, or once it is definitive in 2015?)

- I got nothing so far from the Canton (BL) or the Federal tax office. Will I also be expected to pay them "provisionally"? When will these ones arrive?
In several cantons you need to pay in advance or you will be charged late payment interest. If you overpay you get tax free interest at a better rate than the bank will give you.

As it's provisional, you legally don't need to pay.........
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Old 23.12.2014, 20:52
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Re: Question: Tax bill from the Gemeinde for 2014 "Provisorisch" tax

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As it's provisional, you legally don't need to pay.........
Where did you get that piece of information?

Certainly in Aargau you do need to pay your provisional tax bill by the deadline stated or you will be charged interest.

The provisional tax bill is meant to be as close as possible to your actual so that when your actual comes it will only be a small adjustment. The provisional tax bill is generally based on your previous year's taxes. If you have had some significant changes (particularly an increase in deductions), if you talk to your local tax department at the Gemeinde they may well agree to correct your provisional bill.
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Old 23.12.2014, 20:55
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Re: Question: Tax bill from the Gemeinde for 2014 "Provisorisch" tax

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Where did you get that piece of information?

Certainly in Aargau you do need to pay your provisional tax bill by the deadline stated or you will be charged interest.
Legally you can't be forced to pay a provisional bill, it's not legally binding. Of course you will be charged late payment interest if you don't pay & have a liability.
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Old 23.12.2014, 21:20
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Re: Question: Tax bill from the Gemeinde for 2014 "Provisorisch" tax

I am not sure how it works in Basel, but, back when I lived in Zurich, I simply showed up at the Tax Office and got a free intro to paying taxes in Switzerland from them.

You will find more info here http://www.steuer.bs.ch/steuerzahlung

The interest will start accruing on federal tax and cantonal tax amounts as of 01.04.2015 and 01.06.2015 respectively.
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Old 23.12.2014, 21:30
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Re: Question: Tax bill from the Gemeinde for 2014 "Provisorisch" tax

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I am not sure how it works in Basel, but, back when I lived in Zurich, I simply showed up at the Tax Office and got a free intro to paying taxes in Switzerland from them.
Likewise when I moved to TI.

In perfect English.

23 years ago!

Tom
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Old 23.12.2014, 21:54
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Re: Question: Tax bill from the Gemeinde for 2014 "Provisorisch" tax

As stated above, if you've been saving as you go along you should pay it as you'll get better rate of interest on your pre-payment.

Also, if you pay before year's end, then you reduce your taxable amount as the money is not sitting on your account.

Finally for Solothun, we have to pay our Gemeinde and Stat taxes in the year of taxation () end of summer and September time IIRC. If we don't pay then we get charged late-payment tax. Read what you will into that about "having to pay" vs. "legally required to pay" - either way, one never likes to give the taxman a free ticket.

This whole thing always leaves me confused as around the time we are getting our Federal tax bill for the previous year, we are getting provisional bills for the current year from Solothun. When you factor in that we are always late in submitting as we are waiting for UK returns... well, it all leaves me with my head spinning...
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Old 23.12.2014, 22:46
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Re: Question: Tax bill from the Gemeinde for 2014 "Provisorisch" tax

Thank you all, very useful information. I never knew that there were so many differences.. any chance of a referendum to harmonise it all!
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Old 23.12.2014, 23:35
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Re: Question: Tax bill from the Gemeinde for 2014 "Provisorisch" tax

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Legally you can't be forced to pay a provisional bill, it's not legally binding. Of course you will be charged late payment interest if you don't pay & have a liability.
Funny. I wouldn't necessarily encourage anyone here to get into a p*ssing match with the local tax authorities, especially not a foreigner.
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Old 23.12.2014, 23:49
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Re: Question: Tax bill from the Gemeinde for 2014 "Provisorisch" tax

My Gemeinde replied to my email, telling me that from 20th Dec, I have to pay 5% p.a. interest on the amount! Crazy, and far more than I could earn on it myself.. I guess I need to pay it right away.
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Old 24.12.2014, 00:55
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Re: Question: Tax bill from the Gemeinde for 2014 "Provisorisch" tax

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My Gemeinde replied to my email, telling me that from 20th Dec, I have to pay 5% p.a. interest on the amount! Crazy, and far more than I could earn on it myself.. I guess I need to pay it right away.

Actually the amount (interest rate) that one pays for overdues (Verzugszins) is regulated by Swiss law and is currently 5%, so that is not an arbitrary number:

http://www.verzugszins.ch/verzugszins-zinssatz
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Old 24.12.2014, 17:20
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Question: Tax bill from the Gemeinde for 2014 "Provisorisch" tax

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Funny. I wouldn't necessarily encourage anyone here to get into a p*ssing match with the local tax authorities, especially not a foreigner.

It's actually what the tax office told me 5 years ago, their assessment was incorrect by a factor of 3. In Fact the over payment from the year before exceeded the liability, that's the problem of them being upto 2 years behind.
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Old 24.12.2014, 18:33
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Re: Question: Tax bill from the Gemeinde for 2014 "Provisorisch" tax

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My Gemeinde replied to my email, telling me that from 20th Dec, I have to pay 5% p.a. interest on the amount! Crazy, and far more than I could earn on it myself.. I guess I need to pay it right away.

You want it gift wrapped too ?
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Old 24.12.2014, 19:03
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Re: Question: Tax bill from the Gemeinde for 2014 "Provisorisch" tax

My first employer in Switzerland explained to me that it is a good idea (at least for C-Permit holders and Swiss citizens) to set aside 1/12th or the total anticipated tax bills every month.
Then, you will have the liquidity to pay every tax bill you receive immediately.

When switching from B to C, you might not, in the first, year, have got the hang of this. You can forever set yourself free of tax worries by shoring up that year's worth of tax as soon as possible, in anticipation of the next year's bill.

Plus, if you ever anticipate that your taxable income for any particular year is likely to exceed the taxable income of the previous year (either because your income increases, or because your deductions are reduced, or both), inform the tax authorities (using round amounts) and ask them approximately how much the change is likely to push up your tax bill.

Pay that new "extra" (i.e. over the amount of your last year's bill) in advance, even before the tax office requests it of you. You can do that electronically or request an Einzahlungsschein from the tax office, on which you can fill out the sum you are choosing to pay "early".

Next, fill in your tax form when due. If you can't do it when due, then make sure you ask for an extension in good time.

Keep paying every bill they send you, without delay.

At some point after you submit your tax form, your case will be assessed, and you will be issued a definite, final tax bill. If you've been making your payments promptly and correctly, the definite bill will probably make only small adjustments up or down.

The good news is that if you ever over-pay the tax office, then they will refund you. And they, too, have to pay you interest. And this rate is better than you could get by having the money sitting in a regular savings account.
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Old 24.12.2014, 22:03
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Re: Question: Tax bill from the Gemeinde for 2014 "Provisorisch" tax

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It's actually what the tax office told me 5 years ago, their assessment was incorrect by a factor of 3. In Fact the over payment from the year before exceeded the liability, that's the problem of them being upto 2 years behind.
You can apply to have your provisional tax bill adjusted if you think that it is wrong. However, the Canton of Aargau website says:

"Für Ausstände ab 1. November wird ein Verzugszins in Rechnung gestellt, und es können rechtliche Inkassomassnahmen eingeleitet werden.
"

i.e. interest is charged on overdues effective November 1 and they can take legal steps to get their money.

So, I would be very careful about just not paying and relying on your statement that they cannot legally enforce payment. Unless you have an exemption in writing I would clarify the situation with the local tax office.
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Old 24.12.2014, 23:04
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Re: Question: Tax bill from the Gemeinde for 2014 "Provisorisch" tax

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You can apply to have your provisional tax bill adjusted if you think that it is wrong. However, the Canton of Aargau website says:

"Für Ausstände ab 1. November wird ein Verzugszins in Rechnung gestellt, und es können rechtliche Inkassomassnahmen eingeleitet werden.
"

i.e. interest is charged on overdues effective November 1 and they can take legal steps to get their money.

So, I would be very careful about just not paying and relying on your statement that they cannot legally enforce payment. Unless you have an exemption in writing I would clarify the situation with the local tax office.
I said in my first post that interest was payable if you owe money, they can only demand payment after the final computation is done, a provisional assessment us just that 'PROVISIONAL' and not legally enforceable.

FWIW you can DEMAND a repayment of any tax paid on account at any time until it's agreed. They will repay very quickly if you ask as I found out. I knew they owed me 10k a year before they had done their final assessment.
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Old 25.12.2014, 00:25
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Re: Question: Tax bill from the Gemeinde for 2014 "Provisorisch" tax

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My Gemeinde replied to my email, telling me that from 20th Dec, I have to pay 5% p.a. interest on the amount! Crazy, and far more than I could earn on it myself.. I guess I need to pay it right away.
Seems to me like you already missed the due date of the 20th.

You didn't say when you received the bill but I suspect it was within plenty of time to pay. If you didn't agree with it you should have spoken to the appropriate authorities rather than posting here and relying on some misinformed persons.
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Old 25.12.2014, 00:47
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Re: Question: Tax bill from the Gemeinde for 2014 "Provisorisch" tax

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I said in my first post that interest was payable if you owe money, they can only demand payment after the final computation is done, a provisional assessment us just that 'PROVISIONAL' and not legally enforceable.
"Auch die provisorische Rechnung wird trotz ihres vorläufigen Charakters zur Zahlung fällig. Die provisorische Rechnung kann auf Gesuch hin in ihrer Höhe angepasst werden. Das Gesuch ist bei der Finanzverwaltung der Wohnsitzgemeinde einzureichen. Rechtzeitig vor Ablauf der Zahlungsfrist (im September) erhalten die Steuerpflichtigen, die den (provisorischen) Betrag nicht oder nicht voll-ständig bezahlt haben, eine Verfallanzeige.
Die Mahnung der säumigen Steuerpflichtigen erfolgt nach Ablauf der Zahlungsfrist. Nach erfolgloser Mahnung wird die Betreibung eingeleitet.
Erscheint die Bezahlung der Steuer gefährdet, kann die Bezugsbehörde auch für einen nur mutmasslich geschuldeten Betrag jederzeit Sicherstellung verlangen
. Dabei wird eine Sicherstellungs-verfügung erlassen. Gegen die Sicherstellungsverfügung kann innerhalb von 30 Tagen nach Zustel-lung beim Spezialverwaltungsgericht, Abteilung Steuern, Rekurs erhoben werden. Der Rekurs hemmt die Vollstreckung der Sicherstellungsverfügung nicht. Die Sicherstellungsverfügung gilt als Arrestbefehl nach Art. 274 SchKG. Der Arrest wird durch das zuständige Betreibungsamt vollzogen. Die Einsprache gegen den Arrestbefehl nach Art. 278 SchKG ist nicht zulässig."

That is not the case in Aargau, although it may differ by canton. It states here very clearly that even provisional tax estimates are very much enforceable. So unless you have something in writing which indicates that this is not the case (or maybe differs in another canton), I have some doubts about the veracity of your statement.
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Old 25.12.2014, 12:30
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Re: Question: Tax bill from the Gemeinde for 2014 "Provisorisch" tax

Since I have a C permit now I pay monthly a similar amount to what was deducted earlier. Saves the hassle (I hope) of having to pay interest whilst getting interest (and better than at the bank) on my tax payments.
Also saves me a headache at the end of the year when that big bill would come for taxes
Although the tax authoritities in Kanton Zurich are very slow, still waiting for my tax returns from 2012 and 2013.
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