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Old 30.03.2016, 16:26
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Another marriage tax question..... and double residency/tax obligations

Dear all,

I've recently been referred to this forum. Firstly, thank you so much for such useful information. I have spent the last couple of hours reading up about posts related to my situation, which answer some aspects of my question but not all, so I hope it's okay that I ask here regarding my specific situation, and thank you in advance to those who can lend advice.

My husband and I are New Zealand citizens, we don't have children. I moved to Geneva in May 2014 to work at the Université de Geneve and my husband at the same time moved to London where he was offered a job. I hold a B residence permit in Switzerland and he has a residence/work visa in the UK. I have multiple contracts at my work, which meant that being taxed at source was never done properly (i.e. some contracts don't get taxed at all etc), so I saved some money so I can pay at the end of the year.

My question is specific for the year 2015. I made sure I was on the right tax scale at work (C0) which is for a married person with no children, whose spouse is working (in my case he works in the UK). I got too confused with working out my tax because of my multiple contracts and because I don't speak French so I hired an accountant. I declared my husband's income and the accountant informed me that I will be taxed at the rate for the combined income of my husband and I. We both agreed that this is some form of double taxation, as my husband pays very high taxes in the UK, he said that the law's reply to this would be 'we're not taxing your husband because he doesn't live in Switzerland, we are taxing you and you are married to him, so we will tax you at the rate for your combined income'. I wanted to get a second opinion..

1) is this entirely correct?

2) if it is, shouldn't Switzerland at least take into account the taxes that my husband is paying in the UK? or is the accountant I hired correct in saying that they are taxing me and not my husband therefore they would not take the taxes my husband pays in the UK into account at all?

3) I read many posts on the forum about interest being charged for filing late taxes.. i made sure my accountant filed my tax return before end of March this year, but I haven't contacted them myself or heard back so I hope this means I won't be paying any interest?

4) Finally, I'm going to be spending more time working from home in the UK (still same job in Geneva, same income and tax situation), just to spend more time with my husband. I am looking into applying for a residence permit in the UK so that I don't over-stay my visitor allowance. Any idea if I also would need to file for taxes in the UK (so employed in Geneva and paying tax there but having a double residence in UK and Switzerland)..

I apologize severely for the long post and thank you in advance.
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Old 30.03.2016, 16:31
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Re: Another marriage tax question..... and double residency/tax obligations

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1) is this entirely correct?

2) if it is, shouldn't Switzerland at least take into account the taxes that my husband is paying in the UK? or is the accountant I hired correct in saying that they are taxing me and not my husband therefore they would not take the taxes my husband pays in the UK into account at all?
1) Yes
2) No. Take the UK tax paid into account.

Get a new accountant!
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Old 30.03.2016, 16:35
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Re: Another marriage tax question..... and double residency/tax obligations

Thank you dodgyken for your reply,could you tell me how to argue this? When I proposed that my husband's tax should be considered, the answer I got was 'but he's not being asked to pay tax in Switzerland, you are, and you didn't pay tax in the UK, he did, so therefore his tax will not be taken into account, only his earnings'. So what would my reasoning be to argue that his tax should be taken into account? Thanks alot in advance. By the way do you have any idea about my other 2 questions (3 and 4)? many thanks
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Old 30.03.2016, 17:15
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Re: Another marriage tax question..... and double residency/tax obligations

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Thank you dodgyken for your reply,could you tell me how to argue this? When I proposed that my husband's tax should be considered, the answer I got was 'but he's not being asked to pay tax in Switzerland, you are, and you didn't pay tax in the UK, he did, so therefore his tax will not be taken into account, only his earnings'. So what would my reasoning be to argue that his tax should be taken into account? Thanks alot in advance. By the way do you have any idea about my other 2 questions (3 and 4)? many thanks
2) In the tax form you are asked to fill out income for both parties and where it was earned. You also enter any tax that has been paid on that income. The fact your accountant refuses to do this will cost you a huge amount of money.

3) If you pre-pay tax you receive interest - if you wait for the bill you effectively borrowed that money at a low interest rate. Don't stress about it.

4) If you are still resident in Switzerland you will be liable for tax - and your tax returns will get more complicated.

I'm not a tax professional
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Old 30.03.2016, 17:27
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Re: Another marriage tax question..... and double residency/tax obligations

Thank you so much, you have been very helpful. I will post whatever I learn in the end on this thread so it can be useful to others eventually I hope. If anyone else wants to add comments please feel free to do so, the more info the better..
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Old 24.08.2016, 00:48
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Re: Another marriage tax question..... and double residency/tax obligations

You will find the relevant double tax treaty here, which may clarify it all for you. I strongly recommend reading it, in my situation recently dealing with Australia-Swiss situation, reading the relevant treaty was straighforward and meant in the end I was able to argue my case and get the appropriate result.
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