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Old 11.08.2017, 17:02
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Taxation / QST & also Staats- und Gemeindesteuern

Hi all,
I hope someone else has also experienced this and could help out to understand better what is going on ...
I've just got quite hefty sum to pay for Staats and Gemeindesteuern for 2014 (living in Zurich city). I'm married and together with my wife the total amount of earning is more than 120K a year and we have a B permit (also within 2014). The thing is that we are still paying QST (Quellensteuer) and same also applies for 2014... Per my understanding the QST covers all taxes and there shouldn't be more payment, or if there are, then definitely they shouldn't be of a huge amount (we don't have executive salaries ).
The thing is that we got to pay now about 15K for 2014, I'm afraid to think what will come also for '15,'16 and this year at some point.

I will be going next week to the Steueramt office to understand what is going on, but maybe someone is in the similar situation and knows what it is going on? In the paper from them there is about 30K to pay taxes and deducted cca 15K that has been paid in QST, but is it possible to be such huge difference?

Thanks in advance for any opinion on the topic.
Stan
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Old 11.08.2017, 17:06
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Re: Taxation / QST & also Staats- und Gemeindesteuern

It's legit. QST covers everything only if you were earning below 120k. Else it's just an approximation of what you'd owe, computed using average municipal tax rates in the canton - but some municipalities like Stadt Zürich charge their residents way more than others, hence the bill you're getting. Taxes are computed on a yearly basis, your ongoing QST payments go towards your future tax bill for the current year, not for previous years

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, then definitely they shouldn't be of a huge amount (we don't have executive salaries ).
You don't need exec salary to hit the highest tax bracket and Switzerland is no paradise as far as personal income tax rates go
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Old 11.08.2017, 17:26
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Re: Taxation / QST & also Staats- und Gemeindesteuern

thanks, for the reply, I also went now through the Lohnausweis for our household and also I checked another paper which I received few days ago calculating "Direkte Bundesteuer" which says 0,- to pay... So I'm lost with Bunder, Staat, Gemeinde... but we have paid about according the Lohnausweis about 24K altogether on QST, so something is stinky here, but I guess that at the end it will be like everything in CH, once you get a bill it is probably correctly calculated and we will have to pay... but will see on Monday.
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Old 11.08.2017, 17:28
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Re: Taxation / QST & also Staats- und Gemeindesteuern

As I said, Switzerland is no tax paradise. High earners get taxed to death

Without knowing exactly how much you earned it's impossible to verify your numbers. If you're not comfortable disclosing them, use the official tax calculators, plug in your taxable income and wealth as per the tax declaration that you've submitted, substract 2014 tax at source you already paid per Lohnausweis from the result
https://www.steueramt.zh.ch/internet...desteuern.html
https://www.steueramt.zh.ch/internet...dessteuer.html

Most likely the calculation that the tax office did is correct and it's just a case of you not understanding the local tax system, and it stinks only in a sense that the taxes are just too damn high here, for high earners. There's one easy thing you can do about it though - move to Wollerau.

Last edited by ivank; 11.08.2017 at 17:38.
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Old 11.08.2017, 17:37
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Re: Taxation / QST & also Staats- und Gemeindesteuern

This kind of discrepancy could happen if, say, your wife did not pay Tariff C of Quellensteurbut instead paid A or B. You should pay tariff B.
(A single, B married, C earning spouse of person on B tariff)

Or your salary was highly variable. Quellensteur is not like "Pay as you go" which adjusts your tax month on month. You pay a rate based on that months salary only, so it may not reflect what you should have paid.

Have you gotten professional help from a Truehand?

15k does seem a lot based on your other numbers, even at the middle-ish marginal tax rates.
At the higher marginal rates or your combined salary then why haven't you planned anything?
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Old 15.08.2017, 10:53
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Re: Taxation / QST & also Staats- und Gemeindesteuern

thank you all for your replies... we did some further investigation already and called some of the steueramt offices... unfortunately it seems that we were just 'ignorant' in regards of knowing how the system works, especially after the offices are sending an invoice just now for 3 years back (apparently because they are understaffed).

So from what I understood after the calls made so far:
1) With "C" permit or if you have received a paper that you're not any longer on QST all is easy - you get estimation of the tax to be paid during next year, so you already know what money to put in advance and you get also the payslip where you can put money in order not to get fined, etc.. However that is not our case - we're on "B"
2) With "B" permit and QST - the QST works as sum taken toward all your taxes, my mistake was to think that this is all taxes... Well in reality the Bundessteuer withdraw money from what was taken to QST payment, then they send to the Gemeinde what has left and what is taken... based on this the Gemeinde makes the final invoice (for Gemeinde and Staatsteuer) and if the remaining amount is not sufficient they politely ask you to pay the rest within 30 days (possible to agree on some installments as well). Having the fact that QST makes only about 6-7% of the salary, it is obvious that I should've known that these are not all taxes to be paid, but ..lesson learned

Again, after reviewing the documents, the overall amount of 15K makes sense, as we don't have children, back in 2014 we lived in Stadt Zurich (higher taxes), we're married and we had well above the 120K combined netto salary. If I have gotten this invoice within 2015, all would've been much clear and would've known on time to save more money for the next years... A friend of mine was hit 3x ~12K of taxes within last 3 months for 2012-13-14 year, so it could've been worse

Last item we are fighting with, is to avoid paying interest fee, which came with the invoice (cca 400chf on the 15K amount), as I haven't ever received a payslip, i.e. there was no way for me knowing where to send any money in advance. And of course - next year I'll do the taxes with Treuhandler Today my wife is going to the Gemeinde to discuss the interest rate thing, but I doubt we'll succeed...

Thank you all for contributing to the post, hopefully the above will help also for other people having similar questions, as it seems at least kanton Zurich is sending these days a lot of outdated invoices.

Cheers, Stan
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Old 15.08.2017, 11:23
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Re: Taxation / QST & also Staats- und Gemeindesteuern

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Last item we are fighting with, is to avoid paying interest fee, which came with the invoice (cca 400chf on the 15K amount), as I haven't ever received a payslip, i.e. there was no way for me knowing where to send any money in advance. And of course - next year I'll do the taxes with Treuhandler Today my wife is going to the Gemeinde to discuss the interest rate thing, but I doubt we'll succeed...
The tax is due on 30.09 of its tax year. You could have prepaid based on your best estimate of what your income and final tax liability could have been. The tax laws have been always for display for you on government websites, not knowing the laws is never a good excuse

Think about it this way - you must have paid on 30.09.2014. Instead you got to use this money for 3 years at interest rates below mortgage rates! What a deal! And by your lack of saving sounds like you really needed the money. The least you could do to thank them is pay on time
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Old 15.08.2017, 11:32
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Re: Taxation / QST & also Staats- und Gemeindesteuern

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You could have prepaid based on your best estimate of what your income and final tax liability could have been
The question remains - to which account I should've prepaid.. as I mentioned, we never got the payslip.. Indeed my wife asked them yesterday, where to pay the amount for 2015 and '16, didn't got any answer as the bills are not ready.. or maybe she didn't asked enough..

But yeah, you're right - using all those money for pretty low interest rate is not a bad thing ) the problem comes, when they start sending all invoices at once, like my friend .. (30K+ in invoices within 30days).

And yes - not knowing the law is punishable by emptying your wallet!
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Old 15.08.2017, 11:36
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Re: Taxation / QST & also Staats- und Gemeindesteuern

To the Gemeindekasse. You can ask your local tax office for the account number and payslips any time
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