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Old 03.08.2022, 20:11
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Tax deductions - costs for supporting parents

Hello there,

Does anyone know if it is possible to deduct the costs for supporting a parent in another country and if yes what documents are required? I remember reading about it a long time ago, but I cannot find any info on that anymore.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 03.08.2022, 21:01
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Re: Tax deductions - costs for supporting parents

Ct. Zurich tax instructions note (translated):

"26 Deduction for persons in need of support (support deduction) [Section 24.2]
This deduction may only be granted for the support of persons in need of financial support who are physically or mentally disabled or only partially disabled for other objective reasons. If you claim a support deduction, you must submit a confirmation from the supported person with your tax return regarding the type, timing and amount of the support provided. If requested, you must also submit proof of payment (postal or bank receipts in the case of payments abroad).
The deduction cannot be made:
-for benefits to the spouse;
-for benefits to children for whom a child deduction is made;
-if maintenance contributions (alimony) are deducted for the same person

Cantonal tax (Zurich)
Prerequisite for the granting of the support deduction is a support payment at least in the amount of the support deduction of CHF 2,700.
Federal tax
Prerequisite for the granting of the support deduction is a support payment at least in the amount of the support deduction of CHF 6,500."


Source: Wegleitung zur Steuererklärung 2021, Canton Zurich

https://www.zh.ch/de/steuern-finanzen/steuern/steuern-natuerliche-personen/steuererklaerung-natuerliche-personen.html#-792208150
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Old 03.08.2022, 21:36
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Re: Tax deductions - costs for supporting parents

Would be great to hear if anyone has successfully got support of parents approved for tax deduction purposes

We do partially support our parents (or grandparents) but never tried to ask for the tax deduction so far (partially because we try to make it indirect/acceptable to them - e.g. getting supplements or some other items they would not be able to afford otherwise or arrange holidays)
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Old 04.08.2022, 14:02
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Re: Tax deductions - costs for supporting parents

Yes, filed it in the tax return and got the deduction for the last couple of years. The deduction amount considered for federal tax and cantonal tax is different - CHF 6500 for federal and CHF 2000 for cantonal (BL).

What I submitted -
1. the bank statement / receipt showing money debited from my Swiss account
2. the bank statement / receipt showing money received in my parents account in their country of residence
3. copy of passport showing the relationship with the parent

Also, note that you can get the deduction separately for each parent. Just ensure you transfer the money before 31 Dec of the relevant tax year.

Last edited by hyper; 04.08.2022 at 14:39.
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Old 04.08.2022, 14:15
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Re: Tax deductions - costs for supporting parents

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Also, note that you can get the deduction separately for each parent. Just ensure you transfer the money before 31 Dec of the relevant tax year.
You tried this, worked for you?

How about parents of one's spouse?
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Old 04.08.2022, 14:17
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Re: Tax deductions - costs for supporting parents

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Would be great to hear if anyone has successfully got support of parents approved for tax deduction purposes
I was also able to get it (for one parent), by showing only a statement from my bank documenting the transfer of 6500 fr. (Canton Zurich)
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Old 04.08.2022, 14:42
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Re: Tax deductions - costs for supporting parents

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You tried this, worked for you?

How about parents of one's spouse?
Yup, got it for both parents separately, deduction of 6500*2 for federal and 2000*2 for cantonal (BL).

Haven’t tried for spouse as her father is still working.
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Old 04.08.2022, 15:14
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Re: Tax deductions - costs for supporting parents

At this point it's water under the bridge and so only a theoretical question, but:

If one pays one's parents' bills directly (nursing home, medical bills, etc.) rather than making a payment to the parents, would this deduction still be available?
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Old 04.08.2022, 15:52
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Re: Tax deductions - costs for supporting parents

I have done this for many years.
However I keep getting questions from the tax chaps.
They did ask me for supporting documents to prove that the funds were needed.
I think after almost 10 years of consistent payments (witnessed with bank statements), they seem to be OK. Until the next set of questions.... :-)
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Old 04.08.2022, 16:32
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Re: Tax deductions - costs for supporting parents

Canton Solothurn tax instructions for deduction of financial support provided abroad note:

"4. Support payments to persons abroad

In the case of cash benefits abroad, the deduction from cantonal tax can only be granted if there is an obligation to provide support in accordance with Art. 328 of the Swiss Civil Code. Accordingly, a person who lives in favorable circumstances himself is obliged to support relatives in the ascending and descending lines if they would be in need without this assistance (para. 1). The duty of support of the parents and the spouse remains reserved (Art. 2).

According to the case law of the Federal Supreme Court, it is permissible to impose strict requirements on the proof of claimed support payments that flow to recipients abroad (StE 1997 B 92.51 No. 4). The degree of relationship and the need for support must be confirmed by the foreign home authority. The assessment authority may require a certified translation into German. Cash receipts issued by persons in need of support alone are not sufficient for proper proof of payment. This must be done on the basis of suitable, verifiable documents, primarily bank or postal receipts, which also show the name of the recipient, as well as from recognized service providers of money transfers (such as Western Union). Again, both the sender's and the recipient's name must be evident from the transfer documents."

https://steuerbuch.so.ch/steuern/ein...zuege/43-nr-3/
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