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Old 18.05.2020, 13:46
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Tax warning

Hi all,

I am a non-EU MA student working as a student assistant at UZH. I started working at the end of December 2017, and the tax is deducted from my salary. The first time I received the bill, I went to the tax office and explained to the guy that I don't need to declare anything as this is automatically deducted from my salary. Then I changed my address 2 times and again got another letter where they asked me to send lohnausweis which I sent. Again in Jan when I was on holiday for one month, I got another bill for 2018 together with the one for 2019 . I went to the tax office again with all the documents and the lady told me that it's too late and I need to pay the bill. I only worked one month in December and I received CHF 2000 and they sent me a bill to pay CHF 1750. I don't know what else I can do cause the warning that if I don't pay, I will be indebted. Would you please help me? I am so tired of this.
the tax office to
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Old 18.05.2020, 14:57
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Re: Tax warning

Tax is "at source" (Quellensteuer) if you are non-Swiss, and if you do not have a C-permit. Once you obtain a C-permit, tax is no longer deducted by your employer, and you yourself must set aside the right amount each month, to pay your taxes by yourself. If you obtained a C-permit, then for the tax year from 1st Janaury up until the day before your received the C-permit, your employer is responsible for deducting the tax from your salary, but from the day your C-permit is issued, you are responsible for doing so, and for paying it in.

If you do not have a C-permit, then what you describe sounds most unusual.

Have you spoken to the HR department at your employer? Although you are responsible for your tax bill, if you have any permit less than C, your employer is responsible for deducting the correct amount of tax. They should be able to explain to you each tax deduction, and should be able to demonstrate to the tax office (and to you) which amounts of tax they have already paid in on your behalf.
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Old 18.05.2020, 16:00
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Re: Tax warning

The real lesson here should be that govThe real lesson here should be that government letters should be treated seriously and there is most often a formal procedure which must be followed. Fortunately, such a letter must state how and by when you can object.

At some point you got an Einschätzungsentscheid (a.k.a as Veranlagungsverfügung). This was the most important letter. If you do not formally object against it it becomes legal without any further recourse.

It would just be guessing w/o knowing what exactly you have been asked to provide (and you failed to provide) and what is said in the Einschätzungsentscheid.

Did you always register the new addresses in time and did you setup mail forwarding?
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Old 19.05.2020, 11:51
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Re: Tax warning

I registered the new address, but I used to rent a room in someone's house. Probably they ignored the letters I received
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Old 19.05.2020, 12:11
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Re: Tax warning

you go to the tax office where you are registered locally (Gemeinde) - if that does not work, you go to the tax office in the city of Zurich.


If you were not listed on the letter box then the postman would have not been able to deliver the letters.



And even if you are paying 'at source' you should have pay slips (monthly) and also an annual statement from your employer that shows all the salary and tax deductions. Take this to the tax office at your Gemeinde - ours is super-helpful and way too friendly...


How much tax did you actually pay ?



And did you pay Quellensteuer properly ?



It does seem very strange that you got a bill for additional tax when you should have been paying Quellensteuer (source tax)....



And is your permit Non-EU L or B ? Married ? Is your Partner Swiss or on a C permit ?



Are you scholarshipped ? That may be taxable.
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Old 19.05.2020, 12:36
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Re: Tax warning

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you go to the tax office where you are registered locally (Gemeinde) - if that does not work, you go to the tax office in the city of Zurich.


If you were not listed on the letter box then the postman would have not been able to deliver the letters.



And even if you are paying 'at source' you should have pay slips (monthly) and also an annual statement from your employer that shows all the salary and tax deductions. Take this to the tax office at your Gemeinde - ours is super-helpful and way too friendly...


How much tax did you actually pay ?



And did you pay Quellensteuer properly ?



It does seem very strange that you got a bill for additional tax when you should have been paying Quellensteuer (source tax)....



And is your permit Non-EU L or B ? Married ? Is your Partner Swiss or on a C permit ?



Are you scholarshipped ? That may be taxable.
it's also really strange to me as I went to the tax office in the city (I live in the city) with Lohnausweis for 2 years (2018 & 2019) and a letter in German explaining my situation. They copied all the documents, so they should have it. I am a student at the university of Zurich, so i have the student permit B. I am single. I work at the university, so the Quellensteuer is not the issue here as I think the HR at the uni knows how to do it. I have no scholarship. I don't know why i keep receiving these bills and now a warning that i will be indebted. I sent the required documents two times by post and once in person. The system sucks in Switzerland.
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Old 19.05.2020, 12:51
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Re: Tax warning

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you go to the tax office where you are registered locally (Gemeinde) - if that does not work, you go to the tax office in the city of Zurich.
To the cantons tax office which is located in Zurich. The city of Zurich's tax office will be of no help if you are not registered in the city.

Always use written communication with anything which has a government set deadline. Even when you had inquired in person or by phone.

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It does seem very strange that you got a bill for additional tax when you should have been paying Quellensteuer (source tax)....
Not strange, and neither surprising. Tax office requested further information, OP fail to deliver them. Tax office made a assessment and sent it to OP. W/o information the assessment will be an educated guess plus something on the top to fight tax avoidance. OP failed to contest assessment,
assessment obtained legal force, bill arrived which now must be paid. If there are multible years with lack of information, than the assessment will be increased each and every time. Logic is simple: if the assessment was not contested, the tax office's guesstimate must have been obviously too low.

@hoppo: Do you still have the letters were you requested further information about your situation? Be aware tax at source is a special status. The onus of proof that you meat all conditions is upon you. I hope yopu did not throw them away that would be really bad.

Do you also have the Einschätzungsentscheid? This one will tell you why you are additionally taxed and what amounts they assumed.

The room you rented is the address you have been registered? You actually lived there and your name was on the mail box? If not you registered using a c/o address?
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Old 19.05.2020, 13:12
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Re: Tax warning

The mistake i made is that I went to the tax office when i first received the letter and the person i talked to told me that the issue is resolved now. I don't have any written proof as I trusted those who work at the tax office. I then changed my address and since then I didn't receive any bill until Jan 2020. Don't they know that a non-EU student doesn't have to pay tax? This is so obvious and we have students from Germany in our department who don't even fill out the tax form. I don't even have a C permit or work permit. I have a student permit. I tried to call them for 2 days now and they don't pick up the phone. I sent an email one month ago and no reply. This is so frustrating!
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Old 19.05.2020, 13:19
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Re: Tax warning

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The mistake i made is that I went to the tax office when i first received the letter and the person i talked to told me that the issue is resolved now. I don't have any written proof as I trusted those who work at the tax office. I then changed my address and since then I didn't receive any bill until Jan 2020. Don't they know that a non-EU student doesn't have to pay tax? This is so obvious and we have students from Germany in our department who don't even fill out the tax form. I don't even have a C permit or work permit. I have a student permit. I tried to call them for 2 days now and they don't pick up the phone. I sent an email one month ago and no reply. This is so frustrating!
When dealing with the Swiss bureauracy always write a good old fashioned letter; they don't always respond to anything else. If it's really important send it by registered post; that way you have a record of it being delivered should there be any question of them not receiving it.
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Old 19.05.2020, 13:25
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Re: Tax warning

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The system sucks in Switzerland.
Don't go that way. It just leads to bitterness at life in general. It's also unhelpful when you're dealing with officials. The tax system and many other government systems work very well - especially in comparison with other countries.

Can you clarify this bit:
Quote:
The first time I received the bill, I went to the tax office and explained to the guy that I don't need to declare anything
Did you receive a bill - i.e. give us money by this date - or a tax declaration form to fill in.

What you should do, is create a dated list of what happened when. Including what anyone said, even if you don't have it in writing. Then try to find someone to talk to at your tax office, but present the issue as one to be solved - not as a fight to be won.
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Old 19.05.2020, 14:07
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Re: Tax warning

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I don't even have a C permit or work permit. I have a student permit.
Switzerland doesn't have work permits.

Tom
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Old 19.05.2020, 14:19
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Re: Tax warning

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Don't they know that a non-EU student doesn't have to pay tax?
Maybe you have a side gig. Maybe there is other taxed income. Maybe you have a lot of wealth. How should the tax office know unless you tell them what you have and what you do not have?


But you seem to be the person which rather likes to complain than answer questions asked. How can someone help if you do not provide information?
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Old 19.05.2020, 16:36
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Re: Tax warning

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Maybe you have a side gig. Maybe there is other taxed income. Maybe you have a lot of wealth. How should the tax office know unless you tell them what you have and what you do not have?


But you seem to be the person which rather likes to complain than answer questions asked. How can someone help if you do not provide information?
Based on my Permit and the fact that i am a non-EU student, I am allowed to work only 15 hours a week.
For 2018, I showed them my salary slip (I went to the tax office). The guy copied the document and told me the problem is solved. I only received the two tax bills in January 2020 (I was away till mid Feb). I was shocked cause I didn't expect to receive these for 2018.
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Old 19.05.2020, 16:37
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Re: Tax warning

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Switzerland doesn't have work permits.

Tom
I thought there are two B permits, one for students and one for workers.
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Old 19.05.2020, 16:38
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Re: Tax warning

So my first email to Steueramt wasn't replied probably because i wrote in English. I wrote another one in German now and it was replied immediately. Here is what they say:

Für die Steuerperiode 2018 haben Sie keine Steuererklärung eingereicht. Entsprechend wurde eine Einschätzung nach pflichtgemässen Ermessen vorgenommen. Die Veranlagung ist mittlerweile rechtskräftig. Wir empfehlen Ihnen diese umgehend zu begleichen.
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Old 19.05.2020, 16:41
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Re: Tax warning

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Don't go that way. It just leads to bitterness at life in general. It's also unhelpful when you're dealing with officials. The tax system and many other government systems work very well - especially in comparison with other countries.

Can you clarify this bit:

Did you receive a bill - i.e. give us money by this date - or a tax declaration form to fill in.

What you should do, is create a dated list of what happened when. Including what anyone said, even if you don't have it in writing. Then try to find someone to talk to at your tax office, but present the issue as one to be solved - not as a fight to be won.
I didn't receive any bill. Just the form.
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Old 19.05.2020, 16:44
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Re: Tax warning

That is clear. As SitU said, they asked for information/tax filing, didn´t get it so they made an educated guess/valuation.


Für die Steuerperiode 2018 haben Sie keine Steuererklärung eingereicht. Entsprechend wurde eine Einschätzung nach pflichtgemässen Ermessen vorgenommen. Die Veranlagung ist mittlerweile rechtskräftig. Wir empfehlen Ihnen diese umgehend zu begleichen.



You didnt file your taxes. So they made a calculation what they thought should be the amount, informed you on that and that you now have to pay as the timeline to contest this is over.


If you do not have the money, ask them if you can pay in installments?
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Old 19.05.2020, 16:45
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Re: Tax warning

bad news!

I asked them to reconsider their judgement and this is what i received:


Bitte beachten Sie, dass die 30-tägige Einsprachefrist abgelaufen ist.
Wünschen Sie den Ausstand in Raten zu begleichen, so bitten wir um entsprechenden Abzahlungsvorschlag.

I didn't receive any letter that says i have 30 days to object. The warning that I received is still valid till the end of the month. Please help!
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Old 19.05.2020, 16:48
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Re: Tax warning

I´m sure that 30 day period is somewhere on the notification.


As said, if you cannot pay, contact them and ask the to pay in installments. Which is what they offer you to do.
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Old 19.05.2020, 16:52
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Re: Tax warning

When I was a student years ago, back in 2012, I received a similar slip from the tax office and was also very confused (B-permit Non-EU).

I went into the Gemeinde and after being interrogated as to why I had received the tax bill/request for information, the official realized that I had been somehow registered as a Swiss Citizen, and the system was realizing I hadn't paid my taxes ...

It took a lot of confused officials to work that out. Meanwhile every official kept tell me that I screwed up ... yeah sure; I'm still waiting for that red passport 8 years down the road.
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