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Old 04.02.2017, 22:12
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Self-reporting for Swiss tax filing - any advice?

I received tax assistance for the US and CH my first two years through my employer. Now I'm on my own. After reviewing last years filings in full detail, I concluded that the CH filing doesn't seem too complicated, but the US filing seems a bit out of my league. I prefer to do the CH filing myself in lieu of paying over 1k CHF for professional assistance, esp since I think I need do that for the US.

Anyway, I'd like to hear from you if you file your own CH return as an expat and non-native speaker. If so, did you find it rather simple based on your salary certificate and gains from worldwide assets? Was it straight-forward to use the software available from the Kanton. Did you need to get their help, and, if so, were they helpful enough to see you through to the end?

My filing should be rather simple since I'm a single earner household (+ wife, kids) and don't have mortgage, 3rd pillar etc.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 04.02.2017, 22:28
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Re: Self-reporting for Swiss tax filing - any advice?

Yes, filing swiss taxes in your situation is quite straightforward: copy the numbers from lohnausweis and bank statements into canton's software, apply standard deductions - you can find lots of advice online, or just forget about them because whatever you save on CH taxes you'll likely pay to Trump, and print. Mistakes aren't criminalized (even intentional, as long you don't forge third party documents) unlike US, so there's no need to fear to fill the forms yourself
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Old 04.02.2017, 23:38
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Re: Self-reporting for Swiss tax filing - any advice?

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I received tax assistance for the US and CH my first two years through my employer. Now I'm on my own. After reviewing last years filings in full detail, I concluded that the CH filing doesn't seem too complicated, but the US filing seems a bit out of my league. I prefer to do the CH filing myself in lieu of paying over 1k CHF for professional assistance, esp since I think I need do that for the US.

Anyway, I'd like to hear from you if you file your own CH return as an expat and non-native speaker. If so, did you find it rather simple based on your salary certificate and gains from worldwide assets? Was it straight-forward to use the software available from the Kanton. Did you need to get their help, and, if so, were they helpful enough to see you through to the end?

My filing should be rather simple since I'm a single earner household (+ wife, kids) and don't have mortgage, 3rd pillar etc.

Thanks in advance!
Because it really is that simple, it shouldn't cost more than Chf 150.--

Find an accountant and ask him to do it, suggest you avoid KPMG and the suchlike as they do charge Chf 1k !!
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Old 05.02.2017, 00:11
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Re: Self-reporting for Swiss tax filing - any advice?

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Because it really is that simple, it shouldn't cost more than Chf 150.--

Find an accountant and ask him to do it, suggest you avoid KPMG and the suchlike as they do charge Chf 1k !!
I have 2 quotes, so far: 1 is a major accountancy and they are proposing it "rock bottom" for 1750 and the other is a single accountant for 1100. Both are including being the delegate in case any questions come up.

If there are local accountants that do it for 150, I wouldn't hesitate for the peace of mind. I just don't want to throw good money away at those prices since it doesn't seem that complex. Please let me know if you have someone in mind!
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Old 05.02.2017, 06:51
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Re: Self-reporting for Swiss tax filing - any advice?

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I have 2 quotes, so far: 1 is a major accountancy and they are proposing it "rock bottom" for 1750 and the other is a single accountant for 1100. Both are including being the delegate in case any questions come up.

If there are local accountants that do it for 150, I wouldn't hesitate for the peace of mind. I just don't want to throw good money away at those prices since it doesn't seem that complex. Please let me know if you have someone in mind!
I do the Swiss version myself because it's pretty simple (I do speak German rather passably, though), so I can't help there.

On the American side, however, I've used Jim Waters over at http://www.garciaortiz.com for a couple years. I keep the costs down by filing my FBARs myself, and if memory serves, it costs me 200-300 dollars each year.
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Old 05.02.2017, 09:16
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Re: Self-reporting for Swiss tax filing - any advice?

Save yourself money and contact your cantonal tax office and see if someone can go through the form with you. Or see if they run information evenings; Fribourg canton used to do these where you could go along and they gave a rundown of the form and had people there to answer your questions. Don't know if they still do.

Once you've done the form it's pretty easy to do again as you have the previous year as a template. I've done our tax returns ever since we moved on to a C permit and had to start filing them - and no I don't speak French though I read it fairly well. I simply translated the bits I needed from the form into English and put it on a spreadsheet which gets updated year on year. I file paper copies rather than electronic, but the idea should still work for you. Once you're happy with the spreadsheet figures transfer them to the electronic return.
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Old 05.02.2017, 10:26
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Re: Self-reporting for Swiss tax filing - any advice?

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On the American side, however, I've used Jim Waters over at http://www.garciaortiz.com for a couple years. I keep the costs down by filing my FBARs myself, and if memory serves, it costs me 200-300 dollars each year.
Thanks for the tip! I'll contact Jim over there.
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Old 05.02.2017, 10:34
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Re: Self-reporting for Swiss tax filing - any advice?

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Thanks for the tip! I'll contact Jim over there.
You can tell him Lance McGrath sent you if you like. I don't think it gets me a discount, but you never know.
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Old 05.02.2017, 12:05
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Re: Self-reporting for Swiss tax filing - any advice?

If you can work out where they got the ch figures from the last two years and your situation has not changed just replicate and file. If they have questions they'll ask.
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Old 05.02.2017, 14:03
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Re: Self-reporting for Swiss tax filing - any advice?

I can highly recommend http://www.colfina.ch/index.html?w2dsmartphone=force

Colfina did my tax last 3 years & apartment conveyancing. I was happy with prices too.
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Old 05.02.2017, 14:14
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Re: Self-reporting for Swiss tax filing - any advice?

The US one is also easy in your case.

Tom
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Old 07.02.2017, 13:40
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Re: Self-reporting for Swiss tax filing - any advice?

These days you will see lot of letters related to income tax in your postbox... one i found was for simpletax.ch

charging 99 to 110 chf for your case i guess..

http://www.simpletax.ch/steuererklaerung/preise.html
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Old 03.01.2019, 11:31
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Re: Self-reporting for Swiss tax filing - any advice?

Thanks everyone for the helpful ideas and the links above.

I think I will also try to do my Swiss taxes on my own and seek professional help for my US taxes (at least for my first year). My situation is a bit weird though.

I'm a B-Permit holder in Basel-Stadt who has his taxes collected at source and makes under the 120k filing cutoff. BUT, I have other sources of income that are not taxed at source (though still under 120k). Specifically:

> Swiss Salary ~90k CHF (taxed at source)
> Stipend from UK company ~5k USD (no tax forms provided, in the past I declared it in the US)
> US Broker long-term capital gains ~15k USD
> US Broker dividends ~ 1k USD

Questions:
Typically a B permit individual earning under 120k in Switzerland does not need to file here. Do these external sources require me to file?

Further, will my situation make my Swiss filing exceedingly difficult? or will it still be fairly straightforward to handle myself?

Random US Tas Roth-IRA Q: (in-case there's an expert here)
To contribute to a ROTH-IRA one requires US income. Could I declare my stipend income as US income and then make a Roth-IRA contribution?
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Old 04.01.2019, 11:04
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Re: Self-reporting for Swiss tax filing - any advice?

Does any tax software exist that either translates or is in english? (Especially canton Zurich).
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Old 04.01.2019, 14:23
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Re: Self-reporting for Swiss tax filing - any advice?

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These days you will see lot of letters related to income tax in your postbox... one i found was for simpletax.ch
charging 99 to 110 chf for your case i guess..
I got stuck on their German only website. Did you contact them direct for that quote or read it somewhere?
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Old 04.01.2019, 20:17
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Re: Self-reporting for Swiss tax filing - any advice?

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Does any tax software exist that either translates or is in english? (Especially canton Zurich).
link

I did not know this existed! just found it looking for something else! the official german directions translated in google translate offer better in depth explanation of the tax law. there is a good post here from "Richard" on ZRH tax return. That thread is a wealth of knowledge.
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Old 05.01.2019, 12:42
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Re: Self-reporting for Swiss tax filing - any advice?

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link

I did not know this existed! just found it looking for something else! the official german directions translated in google translate offer better in depth explanation of the tax law. there is a good post here from "Richard" on ZRH tax return. That thread is a wealth of knowledge.
found it! it's a little old but most of it is still relevant.
link
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Old 05.01.2019, 13:16
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Re: Self-reporting for Swiss tax filing - any advice?

Use the software private tax(for free) download for the 2018 version will be available soon, the tax declaration here in switzerland is not that hard.
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Old 05.01.2019, 13:52
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Re: Self-reporting for Swiss tax filing - any advice?

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Use the software private tax(for free) download for the 2018 version will be available soon, the tax declaration here in switzerland is not that hard.

difficulty and confidence are relative to your German abilities, which was the recent request for information! I agree the software is pretty straight forward, even the online webpage option may be appropriate for many users, but some basic German is required.
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