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Old 03.02.2021, 06:22
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WFH - 2020 Tax Deductions

Today's Blick contains general information about tax deductions for employee-related expenses such as commuting and lunch expenses while the employee was working from home (WFH). A partial translation:

"I was in the home office more often last year. Does anything change at all?
In their tax returns, employees can deduct professional expenses such as travel costs, meals, lump-sum deductions for other professional expenses, and education and training costs. In the home office, some of these expenses are no longer deductible. But not all cantons handle it the same way. If you have worked in a home office for a longer period of time in 2020, you should take a look at your salary statement and read the information provided by the canton carefully.

How exactly do the cantons differ?
The cantons of Zurich, Basel-Stadt, Basel-Landschaft, Solothurn, Zug, Glarus, Schwyz, Schaffhausen and Thurgau accept the professional expenses as if there were no home office. Aargau is also generous, announcing yesterday, "Those who worked mostly in a home office in 2020 can still deduct travel expenses as if they drove to the office every day." Other cantons, such as Bern, are guided by the effective expenses and accept, for example, the car for the commute instead of public transport. Other cantons have not yet made any decision at all."

"What about meals at the workplace?
In the canton of Zurich, the usual deductions for professional expenses, including the flat-rate meal allowance, are still possible. This is done via the professional expense allowance. Canton Aargau, for example, provides for a partial solution with a flat rate until the measures are relaxed on June 22, 2020. Here, too, it is advisable to consult the current tax return guide."

See the Blick article for more information on WFH tax deductions (German):

https://www.blick.ch/wirtschaft/gros...d16325954.html
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Old 04.02.2021, 18:15
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Re: WFH - 2020 Tax Deductions

I am in Zurich, so the rules are quite clear in terms of work meals and public transport.
I will enter the standard deduction and the cost of the pass (which I have effectively paid).


It's a bit less clear for the use of a personal car (my wife). She needs to enter the exact number of days she traveled to work. Is the tax office saying that even in this case one should enter the number as if there was no covid? Because that's not clear to me. And what would that number be? She was quite flexible and decided how many days a week to go to work every month...


How do you understand it?
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Old 04.02.2021, 18:26
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Re: WFH - 2020 Tax Deductions

See also this thread:
https://www.englishforum.ch/finance-...rtificate.html

Guidelines for different Cantons:

ZH: https://www.zh.ch/de/news-uebersicht...rung-2020.html

SZ: https://www.sz.ch/public/upload/asse...24.09.2020.pdf
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Old 04.02.2021, 18:28
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Re: WFH - 2020 Tax Deductions

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It's a bit less clear for the use of a personal car (my wife). She needs to enter the exact number of days she traveled to work. Is the tax office saying that even in this case one should enter the number as if there was no covid? Because that's not clear to me. And what would that number be? She was quite flexible and decided how many days a week to go to work every month...
Yes the canton ZH tax office is sayin exactly this. Simplest solution: Just use last years numbers.
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Old 04.02.2021, 19:36
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Re: WFH - 2020 Tax Deductions

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I am in Zurich, so the rules are quite clear in terms of work meals and public transport.
I will enter the standard deduction and the cost of the pass (which I have effectively paid).


It's a bit less clear for the use of a personal car (my wife). She needs to enter the exact number of days she traveled to work. Is the tax office saying that even in this case one should enter the number as if there was no covid? Because that's not clear to me. And what would that number be? She was quite flexible and decided how many days a week to go to work every month...


How do you understand it?
Use the default 240 days it will be fine.

When I was unemployed doing part time work I did milage that exceeded 15,000 CHF (not sure if thats still possible) & 240 days for lunch even through I worked about 8 days. Just accepted as it's 'standard'
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Old 05.02.2021, 13:43
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Re: WFH - 2020 Tax Deductions

Wow, some cantons are very generous!

Here in Neuchatel, days worked in the office should be declared for deductions, then for home office days its a maximum of 4000 for the year (so ~17CHF deduction per day on a base of 230 days).
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Old 14.02.2021, 11:08
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Re: WFH - 2020 Tax Deductions

At these links are detail instructions regarding the impact of covid-19 on 2020 taxes (German):

Aargau:

https://www.ag.ch/media/kanton_aarga..._28.1.2021.pdf

Basel-Stadt:

https://www.steuerverwaltung.bs.ch/s...tion3_section3

Bern:

http://www.taxinfo.sv.fin.be.ch/taxi...%20Besteuerung

Schwyz:

https://www.sz.ch/public/upload/asse...24.09.2020.pdf

Zug:

https://www.zg.ch/behoerden/finanzdi...faq-zu-steuern

Zurich:

https://www.zh.ch/de/steuern-finanze...tml#-285441487
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Old 16.03.2021, 10:38
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Re: WFH - 2020 Tax Deductions

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I am in Zurich, so the rules are quite clear in terms of work meals and public transport.
I will enter the standard deduction and the cost of the pass (which I have effectively paid).
Are you sure? I am asking because in a similar thread (where I am asking the same question https://www.englishforum.ch/finance-...ml#post3286071) people are saying you deduct public transport for the whole year as if you were going into the in office the whole year. E.g. you only bought two monthly passes but you deduct 12 even though you didn't buy them.

Maybe I should call the tax office...
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