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Old 22.12.2016, 14:55
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Problem with double taxation Austria/Switzerland

Hallo EFers!

I have a problem with doubletaxation and hope somebody can help me with that, maybe someone encountered a similar problem?

I moved to Switzerland in December 2014. Since then, I have lived and worked in Switzerland all year round full time, have been paying taxes here, social security and everything, and rarely visited Austria because I had been working quite a lot. No insurance back in Austria or any benefits that I could have used.
I only realised after a few month that I have to cancel my main residence (Hauptwohnsitz) in Austria, so I did that when I came back to Austria the first thing in Mai 2015.

Now I got an Email from my tax accountant from Austria (rarely had contact, only time was when I moved to Switzerland because I wanted to do my taxation for the previous years that I worked in Austria before I moved to Switzerland, didn't hear from them since).

They now say I have to file my tax report for the year 2015 in Austria, and would be obligated to pay taxes there for my income in Switzerland.
Now I am quite desperate, because in Austria the Tax rate is 50%, whereas I pay around 16% here.
I had nothing else to do with Austria in 2015, except for visiting my family back home once a while. The time it takes for me to get back home by flight is about 8 hours because there is no better connection, same thing with a car or train. So I was not going across the border to work my 50 hour/week job here.

Do I really have to pay taxes in Austria now, although a big part of the taxes there are for all the social benefits like insurance for about everything (including dentists) which I could not use.
I also did my taxation for Switzerland in 2015 allready.
I dont know how much I would have to pay exactly, but I think I would have to give up most of what I saved to pay back such a taxload, and I really lived below my means in the first time. Living in Switzerland is not made for paying 50% in taxes I guess..

My tax accountant also changed since I first asked them to do my taxes, and the Email contact doesnt work too well either with them.

Thats why I hope someone here has some input on that topic for me.

Hopefully someone can give tipps or information,
Thank you in advance,
Hanno
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Old 22.12.2016, 14:58
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Re: Problem with double taxation Austria/Switzerland

I´d ask a tax consultant?


And did you already try to prove your residence in Switzerland to the Austrian authorities? Your residency permit clearly shows that you live here.


I can´t comment on Austrian taxes, I only know that when I moved out of Germany, the tax authorities were happy with a copy of my Swiss income return and I´ve never heard back from them

Last edited by roegner; 22.12.2016 at 15:15.
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Old 22.12.2016, 15:14
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Re: Problem with double taxation Austria/Switzerland

Thats what my tax consultant from Austria told me.. But as I said, its not the one I know, and I try to get in touch with the one who did my taxes beforehand. But I just wanted to see if anyone has some experience or knowledge, because I think it is not that common a problem. Hard to get good information on that topic online.

Maybe I will ask a tax accountant here in Switzerland aswell, I don't know whats better in this case, Austrian or Swiss.

I did not talk to the Austrian authorities yet, because I wanted to get some informations about the topic before I talk to them and have no idea where this might be going.

My problem is that my tax accountant now tells me I have to pay taxes in Austria while I had nothing to do with Austria in 2015 except for not telling the authorities in time that I live in Switzerland. Maybe thats the only problem here? But my tax accountant in Austria should know that..
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Old 22.12.2016, 15:33
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Re: Problem with double taxation Austria/Switzerland

In some EU countries (Croatia, although not considered a "full" EU member in Switzerland, whatever that means) there is a clause stating that if you reside 6+ months of the calendar year in the home country you are obliged to pay the (residual) taxes there.
Otherwise no.
Check your taxation policies for something like that.
In your case you might be only obliged to pay for that month in 2014.
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Old 22.12.2016, 15:38
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Re: Problem with double taxation Austria/Switzerland

http://www.goldseiten.de/artikel/178...t.html?seite=1


Unbeschränkte Steuerpflicht

Unbeschränkt steuerpflichtig sind Personen, die in Österreich ihren Wohnsitz oder ihren gewöhnlichen Aufenthalt haben. Einen Wohnsitz in Österreich haben Personen, die im Bundesgebiet über eine Wohnung verfügen, die sie offensichtlich längerfristig als solche nutzen (werden). Die Wohnung muss nicht der Hauptwohnsitz sein, sie muss aber den persönlichen Verhältnissen entsprechend zum Wohnen geeignet sein. Zur Begründung eines Wohnsitzes muss die Wohnung zwar nicht ununterbrochen, aber zumindest wiederkehrend benützt werden.


https://www.bmf.gv.at/steuern/arbeit...erpflicht.html


Taxation is done for persons residing in Austria
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Old 22.12.2016, 15:44
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Re: Problem with double taxation Austria/Switzerland

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Hallo EFers!

I have a problem with doubletaxation and hope somebody can help me with that, maybe someone encountered a similar problem?

I moved to Switzerland in December 2014. Since then, I have lived and worked in Switzerland all year round full time, have been paying taxes here, social security and everything, and rarely visited Austria because I had been working quite a lot. No insurance back in Austria or any benefits that I could have used.
I only realised after a few month that I have to cancel my main residence (Hauptwohnsitz) in Austria, so I did that when I came back to Austria the first thing in Mai 2015.

Now I got an Email from my tax accountant from Austria (rarely had contact, only time was when I moved to Switzerland because I wanted to do my taxation for the previous years that I worked in Austria before I moved to Switzerland, didn't hear from them since).

They now say I have to file my tax report for the year 2015 in Austria, and would be obligated to pay taxes there for my income in Switzerland.
Now I am quite desperate, because in Austria the Tax rate is 50%, whereas I pay around 16% here.
I had nothing else to do with Austria in 2015, except for visiting my family back home once a while. The time it takes for me to get back home by flight is about 8 hours because there is no better connection, same thing with a car or train. So I was not going across the border to work my 50 hour/week job here.

Do I really have to pay taxes in Austria now, although a big part of the taxes there are for all the social benefits like insurance for about everything (including dentists) which I could not use.
I also did my taxation for Switzerland in 2015 allready.
I dont know how much I would have to pay exactly, but I think I would have to give up most of what I saved to pay back such a taxload, and I really lived below my means in the first time. Living in Switzerland is not made for paying 50% in taxes I guess..

My tax accountant also changed since I first asked them to do my taxes, and the Email contact doesnt work too well either with them.

Thats why I hope someone here has some input on that topic for me.

Hopefully someone can give tipps or information,
Thank you in advance,
Hanno
Hi Hanno,

So as you probably know there is a non double taxation treaty between Austria and Switzerland. You can find it (them) here:

https://english.bmf.gv.at/taxation/T...y-Network.html

The treaty probably says that you are taxed for your global income in the country of your tax residence.

What you should know is that when you change your residence (like you did in May 2015), you haven't actually changed your residence for tax purposes, it's not the same thing.

If you have paid 16% income tax in Switzerland already and Austria considers you a tax resident of Austria, they will want to get the difference between the 16% you paid in Switzerland and the 50% (as you say) which is due in Austria.

To avoid this, you should go to the tax authorities of your canton in Switzerland and ask them to issue you a "Certificate of Tax Residence". The treaty says that you can be only tax resident of one of the two countries, so if that's Switzerland, it cannot be Austria at the same time, and you will be taxed for your global income in Switzerland.

Hope this helps.
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Old 22.12.2016, 15:48
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Re: Problem with double taxation Austria/Switzerland

Hope so, but if so my tax accountant is really not on spot for this one.

I tried to read it and its quite long and not an easy read.

But I found one paragraph where it looks like maybe its enough to show the authorities my Ausländerausweis.
At least I hope its like that..

"1. Um die Identität und die Ansässigkeit der betroffenen Person zu ermitteln, registriert die Zahlstelle nach den geltenden schweizerischen Sorgfaltspflichten für die Aufnahme einer Geschäftsbeziehung deren Namen, Vornamen, Geburtsdatum, Anschrift und Angaben zum Wohnsitz. Für vertragliche Beziehungen oder für Transaktionen bei Fehlen einer vertraglichen Beziehung, die beim oder nach dem Inkrafttreten dieses Abkommens eingegangen oder durchgeführt wurden, wird der Wohnsitz für natürliche Personen mit einem von der Republik Österreich ausgestellten Reisepass oder Personalausweis, die geltend machen, in einem anderen Staat als in der Republik Österreich oder der Schweiz ansässig zu sein, aufgrund einer Wohnsitzbescheinigung der zuständigen Steuerverwaltung des Staates bestimmt, als dessen Ansässiger sich die natürliche Person ausweist. Fehlt eine solche Bescheinigung, so gilt die Republik Österreich als Ansässigkeitsstaat."
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Old 22.12.2016, 15:51
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Re: Problem with double taxation Austria/Switzerland

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Hi Hanno,

So as you probably know there is a non double taxation treaty between Austria and Switzerland. You can find it (them) here:

https://english.bmf.gv.at/taxation/T...y-Network.html

The treaty probably says that you are taxed for your global income in the country of your tax residence.

What you should know is that when you change your residence (like you did in May 2015), you haven't actually changed your residence for tax purposes, it's not the same thing.

If you have paid 16% income tax in Switzerland already and Austria considers you a tax resident of Austria, they will want to get the difference between the 16% you paid in Switzerland and the 50% (as you say) which is due in Austria.

To avoid this, you should go to the tax authorities of your canton in Switzerland and ask them to issue you a "Certificate of Tax Residence". The treaty says that you can be only tax resident of one of the two countries, so if that's Switzerland, it cannot be Austria at the same time, and you will be taxed for your global income in Switzerland.

Hope this helps.

Wow that would be great, I will do this. I hope that you are right, and it feels like this should be

Just not sure why my tax accountant tells me I will have to pay up in Austria... They should be the ones who know this stuff?
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Old 23.12.2016, 11:06
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Re: Problem with double taxation Austria/Switzerland

Hi there,

I'm also Austrian living in CH and I have some remote memories from my tax law courses at university. However, that was some 20-years ago, so take my comments with a grain of salt...

Now, based on what I understand from your description I don't think that you will have to pay taxes in Austria - and even if you did, there's no reason to panic because the possible down-side is much smaller than you state.

So, why is there no reason to panic:

1) no matter what, you will not be taxed twice on the same income. There is a clear double-taxation treaty between AT and CH which states that. So, no risk that you have to pay 16% in CH + 50% in AT

2) the tax difference between AT and CH is not as big as you think. 50% is the highest marginal tax rate in Austria - you will never pay that. Depending on your salary you would likely end up with an average tax rate of somewhere around 25-30%

And this is why I don't think that you'll end up paying any tax at all:

Austria will try to tax your income when you have a residency in Austria (someone has already posted the definition above). This is not the same as your "Hauptwohnsitz", but basically any place where you can stay is sufficient to constitute a residency even if you are not registered there. That means, if you own or officially rent an apartment in Austria you will always be required to file a tax return. Your Hauptwohnsitz until May 2015 is just an indication that you likely had a residency - if you didn't, you could show some evidence.

But now, independent of that, the double taxation agreement (which you can find on-line) provides clear guidance for what to do when a person has a residency both in AT and CH at the same time. Bottom-line is that if you can show that you spent the large part of the year 2015 in CH and not in AT, you will not have to pay taxes in Austria. Proof could be your CH rental agreement, work contract, health insurance, etc.

So, yes you'll probably end-up filing a tax return in Austria for 2015, but if you attach clear evidence that you spent all your time in CH and that you have already paid taxes on all your income in CH, then you'll be fine.

I wouldn't know how to best do the actual filing - there an Austrian tax advisor can help or you can simply pick up the phone and call the Finanzamt at the place where you last lived and ask them HOW to fill out the tax declaration in your situation (again, no reason to panic or claim this is unfair, just ask them how to do it and what evidence to attach).
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Old 23.12.2016, 11:13
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Re: Problem with double taxation Austria/Switzerland

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Just not sure why my tax accountant tells me I will have to pay up in Austria... They should be the ones who know this stuff?
If he or she does, they are either an idiot or there's some more background that you haven't shared with us (like did you get a salary from an Austrian employer, did you actually spend a lot of time in Austria in early 2015, does your wife live there, etc.).
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Old 23.12.2016, 23:35
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Re: Problem with double taxation Austria/Switzerland

Thanks for the input ticino. I will call the tax advisor and talk to them. And if i need to i will call the finanzamt as well.

There is nothing more to it. I was never in Austria except visiting my parents once or twice and was only working and living in switzerland. No wife children or even girlfriend from Austria. And no flat or anything like that.

I think the mistake was that I still had my Hauptwohnsitz in Austria (the place i grew up and where my mother lives)because I didnt know I would have to change it right away.. and maybe the finanzamt thinks I was living in Austria until mid of 2015? I dont know..
And my tax advisor knows that I live in Switzerland only.. but the substitute who concacted me might not know either.
Hope I can resolve all of this without too much trouble and too much financial losses
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Old 23.12.2016, 23:36
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Re: Problem with double taxation Austria/Switzerland

You can show your residency in CH not only with your permit but also with electricity bills, rental contract, cell phone contract and things like that. That will clearly prove your residential focus was in CH.

Good luck!
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Old 30.10.2017, 20:04
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Re: Problem with double taxation Austria/Switzerland

Just replying if someone is having a similar situation.
Meanwhile, with the help of my tax acountant, we "convinced" the tax authority in Austria that I am only to be taxed in Switzerland. It took a lot of "evidence" that they needed, including details of all my friends, girlfriend, family etc. I have in Switzerland, additionaly to all my contracts and bills.
It is up to me to prove that my life interests are in Switzerland and I did not intend to go back to Austria.
Thanks for your help again
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Old 30.10.2017, 20:44
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Re: Problem with double taxation Austria/Switzerland

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Just replying if someone is having a similar situation.
Meanwhile, with the help of my tax acountant, we "convinced" the tax authority in Austria that I am only to be taxed in Switzerland. It took a lot of "evidence" that they needed, including details of all my friends, girlfriend, family etc. I have in Switzerland, additionaly to all my contracts and bills.
It is up to me to prove that my life interests are in Switzerland and I did not intend to go back to Austria.
Thanks for your help again
Clearly if you had told them that you had left permanently to live in CH when you left it would have been much easier.
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