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Old 21.10.2020, 14:39
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Tax complaint - what's next?

Hello,

I am resident with B-permit living in the Lausanne area. Because I have a B-permit I pay tax at source (withholding tax). This month I have received the final calculation of the tax for 2019 and I was very surprised to see that the tax office did NOT take into account the tax at source I already paid. Because of that I have a bill to pay 100% of the tax again. Should the tax at source be taken into account I would have to pay only 105 CHF, instead I have to pay more than 20'000 CHF! As you can see this is a huge amount difference and it would be devastating for my finances to pay that amount (of which I paid almost 100% anyway).

Of course, I immediately took action. I went to the tax office and I was told to send a letter with written tax complaint (reclamation) to the tax office which I did the next day.

This was 10 days ago. No recalculation came yet. I have few questions which I hope somebody has the answer because I am really worried to pay 20'000 next month even if after a time that amount would be recovered:

1. Is there a dead-line in which the tax office has to reply to me with a new decision?
2. Does the filing of a tax complaint suspend the tax payment dead-line until a new decision comes?
3. If the payment date is not suspended and no new decision comes until the dead-line date for the tax payment, am I obliged to pay this huge amount of incorrectly calculated tax?
4. Is there something more I can do on my side to suspend this payment until the correction comes?

Thank you!
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Old 21.10.2020, 14:50
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Re: Tax complaint - what's next?

It's not uncommon situation. Usually just calling them works. You're not really appealing the tax calculation but rather that the offset of the withholding tax hasn't yet been done.
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Old 21.10.2020, 15:07
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Re: Tax complaint - what's next?

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It's not uncommon situation. Usually just calling them works. You're not really appealing the tax calculation but rather that the offset of the withholding tax hasn't yet been done.
Quellensteuer or tax at source, or pay as you earn (PAYE) in the UK is not withholding tax. Withholding tax is the 35% deducted from dividend payments...
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Old 21.10.2020, 15:10
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Re: Tax complaint - what's next?

Hello,

Don't forget the timely payment of the witholding tax (impôt à la source) to cantonal authorities is responsibility of the employer. You need to involve them on this. The employer is responsible of asking your personal situation (single/married/kids) to determine how much deduct and pay https://www.vd.ch/themes/etat-droit-...t-a-la-source/

I'd check first if the employer effectively payed the tax. You'd be surprised at the amount of administrative mistakes
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Old 21.10.2020, 15:21
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Re: Tax complaint - what's next?

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Hello,

Don't forget the timely payment of the witholding tax (impôt à la source) to cantonal authorities is responsibility of the employer. You need to involve them on this. The employer is responsible of asking your personal situation (single/married/kids) to determine how much deduct and pay https://www.vd.ch/themes/etat-droit-...t-a-la-source/

I'd check first if the employer effectively payed the tax. You'd be surprised at the amount of administrative mistakes
My (ex)employer indeed asked me about my situation and that part is correct.

I don't think it is my responsibility to check if my ex-employer actually paid the tax or not. Even if it did not pay it, the responsibility, resp. the consequences are for it. I cannot be obliged to pay again the tax in case my employer did not pay it for some reason.
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Old 21.10.2020, 15:24
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Re: Tax complaint - what's next?

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I cannot be obliged to pay again the tax in case my employer did not pay it for some reason.
Yes, you can.

Tom
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Old 21.10.2020, 15:25
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Re: Tax complaint - what's next?

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My (ex)employer indeed asked me about my situation and that part is correct.

I don't think it is my responsibility to check if my ex-employer actually paid the tax or not. Even if it did not pay it, the responsibility, resp. the consequences are for it. I cannot be obliged to pay again the tax in case my employer did not pay it for some reason.

I guest that's the end of the story. You're not liable, you cannot be obliged to pay, let's get the first drink of the day and forget the whole thing, santé!
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Old 21.10.2020, 15:33
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Re: Tax complaint - what's next?

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Quellensteuer or tax at source, or pay as you earn (PAYE) in the UK is not withholding tax. Withholding tax is the 35% deducted from dividend payments...
Technically true, but it's used commonly to include tax-at-source. comparis.ch use it in this way, for example. https://en.comparis.ch/steuern/quell...echner/default
as do PwC and ETHZ.
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Old 21.10.2020, 15:42
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Re: Tax complaint - what's next?

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Yes, you can.

Tom
Which Swiss Law prescribes this? Because if this is legally possible then we come to a legal paradox where the consequences from a wrong action of one person (legal or physical) are charged to another person and then I would need a lawyer. As long as I can prove the tax at source was taken from me I should be fine. Whether the employer and the tax office have unsettled business is their business.

But the question here, I think, is not whether the employer paid the tax or not. The question is whether a mistake from the tax office can oblige me to pay. Because the tax office represents the state and the state, being the legislative power, may force me to pay. Unless, there is an article in some law that suspends that forceful implementation of an (incorrect) decision from the tax office (the state) when there is a formal complaint to that decision. Which is essentially what I am asking for in this thread.
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Old 21.10.2020, 16:04
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Re: Tax complaint - what's next?

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Hello,

I am resident with B-permit living in the Lausanne area. Because I have a B-permit I pay tax at source (withholding tax). This month I have received the final calculation of the tax for 2019 and I was very surprised to see that the tax office did NOT take into account the tax at source I already paid. Because of that I have a bill to pay 100% of the tax again. Should the tax at source be taken into account I would have to pay only 105 CHF, instead I have to pay more than 20'000 CHF! As you can see this is a huge amount difference and it would be devastating for my finances to pay that amount (of which I paid almost 100% anyway).

Of course, I immediately took action. I went to the tax office and I was told to send a letter with written tax complaint (reclamation) to the tax office which I did the next day.

This was 10 days ago. No recalculation came yet. I have few questions which I hope somebody has the answer because I am really worried to pay 20'000 next month even if after a time that amount would be recovered:

1. Is there a dead-line in which the tax office has to reply to me with a new decision?
2. Does the filing of a tax complaint suspend the tax payment dead-line until a new decision comes?
3. If the payment date is not suspended and no new decision comes until the dead-line date for the tax payment, am I obliged to pay this huge amount of incorrectly calculated tax?
4. Is there something more I can do on my side to suspend this payment until the correction comes?

Thank you!
Normally when the tax office requests info from you they give you 20-30 days to reply, so I would give them at least that amount of time if you prefer to wait rather than calling.
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Old 21.10.2020, 16:06
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Re: Tax complaint - what's next?

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Normally when the tax office requests info from you they give you 20-30 days to reply, so I would give them at least that amount of time if you prefer to wait rather than calling.
If you just turned up at the tax office, they would probably fix it whilst you wait, certainly would happen in Zurich.
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Old 21.10.2020, 16:11
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Re: Tax complaint - what's next?

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Which Swiss Law prescribes this? Because if this is legally possible then we come to a legal paradox where the consequences from a wrong action of one person (legal or physical) are charged to another person and then I would need a lawyer. As long as I can prove the tax at source was taken from me I should be fine. Whether the employer and the tax office have unsettled business is their business.

But the question here, I think, is not whether the employer paid the tax or not. The question is whether a mistake from the tax office can oblige me to pay. Because the tax office represents the state and the state, being the legislative power, may force me to pay. Unless, there is an article in some law that suspends that forceful implementation of an (incorrect) decision from the tax office (the state) when there is a formal complaint to that decision. Which is essentially what I am asking for in this thread.
I cannot say for sure for your situation but they have rectified minor things I queried.
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Old 21.10.2020, 16:14
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Re: Tax complaint - what's next?

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If you just turned up at the tax office, they would probably fix it whilst you wait, certainly would happen in Zurich.

Yes, my experience was one phone call and it was solved, also Zurich.
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Old 21.10.2020, 16:23
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Re: Tax complaint - what's next?

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If you just turned up at the tax office, they would probably fix it whilst you wait, certainly would happen in Zurich.
I wish this was my case. I went to the office but my problem was not solved. They said "Unfortunately, the decision has been taken and to change that you have to file a tax complaint."
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Old 21.10.2020, 16:55
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Re: Tax complaint - what's next?

Had a very similar scenario in Vaud too, was very worried and made a phone call to Lausanne and within two minutes in their words (translated) "you can put our bill in the bin" which was not what I was expecting from them

It'll take them much longer than 10 days to revise this for you, I can understand it is crucial and worrying for you but for them it's probably one file among hundreds on their desk. In my case I never got a revised bill, in a second phone call I was was asked to pay what I thought was the outstanding amount, eg my version of your CHF 105. It felt a bit vague but that was that, case closed.
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Old 21.10.2020, 17:07
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Re: Tax complaint - what's next?

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In my case I never got a revised bill, in a second phone call I was was asked to pay what I thought was the outstanding amount, eg my version of your CHF 105. It felt a bit vague but that was that, case closed.
Thanks, Neko!

That is a good advice. If I have no news from them I will pay just these outstanding CHF 105 so that I have really paid all my taxes. My French is not very good for a call but I may try to call them few days before the dead-line.
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Old 21.10.2020, 18:18
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Re: Tax complaint - what's next?

Do call them, that's certainly my advice. Be careful with the payments etc as that was what they told me but not sure it's right in your case, as in they told me to do this but they haven't told you yet.
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Old 21.10.2020, 19:19
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Re: Tax complaint - what's next?

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Which Swiss Law prescribes this? Because if this is legally possible then we come to a legal paradox where the consequences from a wrong action of one person (legal or physical) are charged to another person and then I would need a lawyer. As long as I can prove the tax at source was taken from me I should be fine. Whether the employer and the tax office have unsettled business is their business.

But the question here, I think, is not whether the employer paid the tax or not. The question is whether a mistake from the tax office can oblige me to pay. Because the tax office represents the state and the state, being the legislative power, may force me to pay. Unless, there is an article in some law that suspends that forceful implementation of an (incorrect) decision from the tax office (the state) when there is a formal complaint to that decision. Which is essentially what I am asking for in this thread.
There are many cases with joint liability for an action, and also where an action is typically taken by one entity but legally the responsibility of another.

Paying tax is definitely your responsibility. Saying the tax-at-source rules override that completely is doubtful.

My first point to check would be my end-of-year salary/tax statement (Lohnausweis) from the company. This should include your Quellensteuer payment, and should have been included with your tax return.

I would assume this is legally enough to show source tax was paid, and the tax office should investigate in detail if there's a mismatch.

Does the company still exist and is it reputable? If so then I wouldn't think there will be a problem in the end.
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Old 21.10.2020, 23:26
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Re: Tax complaint - what's next?

I had the exact same issue (a bit worse since they sent me a tax bill for 2019, and 2020, all at once, so it was two years of tax ignoring Quellensteuer payable in 30 days... !).


Everyone (even accountant at work) said "just pay, if they send you a bill you must pay". That didn't sound right at all, I went to my Gemeinde's Steueramt in Dietikon, explained the situation (they also said you must pay) but I reiterated I'm paying Quellensteuer since I came to Switzerland and why should I pay double the tax for 2019 and 2020 when already my Quellensteuer is being deducted.


She looked a moment at everything, took the bills away and said not to worry. I haven't heard since, and this was back in March or so. I guess they make mistakes too, but they're quite nice to deal with.
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Old 21.10.2020, 23:50
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Re: Tax complaint - what's next?

Screw the bill, don't pay it!

Tom
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