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Old 06.11.2008, 15:35
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Leaving CH - Tax on House Sale

Hello everybody

This is my first post but I am thinking about leaving Switzerland due to redundancy.

I have been here 13 years and bought a new house 4 years ago. Fortunately, I should make a profit according to the estate agent. Unfortunately, there will be a hefty tax on any gain (Grundstuckgewinnsteuer).

Are there any tax planning actions I can take to reduce the tax or should I just be glad if I make a profit in the current financial climate?

Thanks for any comments and advice.
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Old 06.11.2008, 15:41
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Re: Leaving CH - Tax on House Sale

Search out all your invoices for capital expenditure on any improvements you have made to the property. They wil be set against any gains for tax purposes.
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Old 06.11.2008, 18:08
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Re: Leaving CH - Tax on House Sale

What if transfer your tax domicile *before* you sell the house? Check out with your accountant if you would manage to eke some kind of fiscal benefit....
Keep us updated!

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Old 06.11.2008, 19:51
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Re: Leaving CH - Tax on House Sale

The contract for the sale will be in Switzerland and if the seller doesn't pay the tax, the buyer will have to. If the seller is moving abroad, the buyer may well ask for the amount of the Grundstuckgeweinsteuer to be put in a special account that would pay the local tax office the amount if the seller doesn't.

Your local tax office will be happy to give you an estimate of the estimated liability before you sell - in fact the buyer and Notoriat may well demand it.

Look on the bright side - in the UK you could give your house away...
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Old 07.11.2008, 08:03
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Re: Leaving CH - Tax on House Sale

I think the tax you pay falls after 5 years and continues falling until 20 years (though have no idea what the rates are for each year!) If you have had the house 4 years it might be an idea to see if it has much effect if you wait a little while
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Old 10.11.2008, 10:04
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Re: Leaving CH - Tax on House Sale

Many thanks for all your comments. I've now got a few points to raise with a tax advisor.
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Old 10.11.2008, 11:04
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Re: Leaving CH - Tax on House Sale

You pay tax only on the profit on selling. So you will get @ least the purchase price.
So you buy 4 years ago for 1m
You sell today for 1.1m
You pay 40% of 100,000 (minus what you have spent on improvements/removations) in tax cause you sold it too soon.

Why not rent it out? True the UK£ is currently very low against the CHF, but do the figures before making a decision? The rent in Zurich you can get for a decent place is almost certainly going to be enough to cover the morgage/upkeep and perhaps turn a profit even.
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Old 11.11.2008, 20:51
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Re: Leaving CH - Tax on House Sale

I would go to my local Gemeinde, tell them. I can either stay here and claim unemployement fro I don't know how long, or leave and rent my house out hoping that I won't have a problem with lodgers. If I didn't have to pay so much gewinnsteuer I could just sell at a reasonable price and be gone.
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