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Old 12.02.2020, 23:12
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Taxes in Zurich after relocation... Not as my math expected

Hello and thanks again for the great contribution in this forum, it's an invaluable resource!

I am an expat dealing with Swiss taxes and co. I have already found many answers to my questions on the forum, but there is still a couple that I couldn't clarify. I would be grateful for answers.

I moved to Switzerland in 2017, in a commune of canton Zurich (let's call it Hooliville) working for a big multinational (let's call it Hooli). I started paying 3rd pillar from day 1, and in March 2018 I filed my taxes with the help of a professional, let's call her Frau Geldstein.

For year 2018 I did not file taxes, mainly for laziness, but also because it turned out I didn't have to, and the overall refund would have been minimal.

Beginning 2019 I moved to Lausanne, working from another multinational, let's call it Baguette Inc, which has headquarters there in Lausanne.

In December 2019 I finally moved back to Zurich (and I immediately registered my new residence), still with permit B and still working for Baguette (which also has offices in Zurich) but with a change of contract, and my residence is now in the city of Zurich.

End of January, a few weeks ago, I received my first salary with the new contract+residence. After taxes, it is considerably more than my old one in Lausanne, but still 300-400 CHF less than I expected. I computed my expectations with the salary calculator at neuvoo.ch which I know it's not 100% accurate but was a close enough approximation for me in the past, both when I was working at Hooli and at Baguette in Lausanne.

And now I need to file taxes for year 2019.

So here are a few questions:

1) why the difference with the salary calculator at neuvoo.ch ? Is it because I am resident in Zurich, but Baguette is still paying (higher) taxes in the canton Vaud? Anything I can do about it?

2) In 2018 Frau Geldstein told me that, according to her math, I should be able to claim back roughly 3000 CHF, but also that I should be patient, because at the time the Zurich tax office had a huge backlog and was still processing files from 2013! But now is 2020 and I still haven't heard back from them. Is it normal? What should I expect? Anything I can do?

3) Is it true that, since for tax calculation what counts is the residence registered at December 31st, in theory I can claim back the difference between Lausanne and Zurich taxation for the whole 2019? If I do the math, it's quite a lot of money!

4) Finally, should I file taxes through a professional for 2019 as well? This year my situation is much simpler than 2017-2018, and I think I could file taxes by myself. But I also know that "professionals" know a lot of dirty tricks that can make you claim more money. Stuff like "business suit needed for work" or "new gaming laptop that is clearly necessary for work". Do you think the refund difference justifies the cost of a professional service?

I would be grateful for any answer to any of questions 1), 2), 3), or 4)

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