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  #61  
Old 20.11.2007, 17:14
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Re: Postdoc tax question

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No, that's incorrect.
Thanks Shorrick! Just to clarify, are the employer's contributions then taken ONLY from the monthly living allowance, or are they taken from NONE of the researchers allowances!
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  #62  
Old 20.11.2007, 17:19
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Re: Postdoc tax question

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I had an accident in the lab about a month after I started working at the ETH and they covered my entire CHF 50,000 hospital bill with absolutely nothing being done of my part. After the whole whoo ha, I only received a statement from the hospital saying I owed nothing.
I am curious as to whether you are covered for such events by the ETH. Should these bills not have been paid by their (ETHz) insurance given that it happened whilst you were at work?
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  #63  
Old 20.11.2007, 17:19
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Re: Postdoc tax question

Hi Rodi,

My Italian girlfiend holds a Marie Curie PhD Fellowship (in Germany), so I know a little bit about how they work.

Firstly, do you hold a personal MC fellowship, or is it the (Swiss) project that is MC funded?

If you hold a personal MC fellowship, then you will be subject to special taxation and pension contributions, because your "salary" comes directly from EU funding, and therefore from outside of Switzerland.

If the Swiss project is MC funded (presumably because of a strong collaboration with an EU partner), then I suspect you will be subject to "normal" Swiss taxation and pension contributions. In this case, I would guess that all of your income (salary + allowances) is taxable.

Good luck with the MC Fellowship! They're quite prestigous, or so my girlfriend keeps telling me!

Lee

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Hello everybody! Could someone please explain the story for the Marie Curie Fellows then?

Do some universities / institutes in Switzerland not take tax from the "mobility allowance" and "career exploratory allowance"? In Germany, these parts seem to be treated as tax-free allowances!

Also is it correct (as to some extent indicated later down in the same thread), that both the employer's and the emploee's contribution to the pension system are taken from the "monthly living allowance", as well as from all other allowances?

Last edited by carrolll; 20.11.2007 at 17:26. Reason: My atrocious spelling
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  #64  
Old 20.11.2007, 17:33
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Re: Postdoc tax question

Hi Lee! This forum is indeed very active given such quick responses

I will hold a personal MC fellowship (IEF). Is there any information about the "special taxation and pension contributions" on the web? Does special mean that I would be invited to pay taxes twice?

Right now I'm still in the UK. In the UK at some universities you pay tax on the "mobility allowance", while for others it is tax-free. This is why I'm curious to hear if things in Switzerland are handled more uniformly.

Thank you very much for your answer! If I learn something new on the issue, I'm happy to post it here.

Rodi

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Hi Rodi,
My Italian girlfiend holds a Marie Curie PhD Fellowship (in Germany), so I know a little bit about how they work.

Firstly, do you hold a personal MC fellowship, or is it the (Swiss) project that is MC funded?

If you hold a personal MC fellowship, then you will be subject to special taxation and pension contributions, because your "salary" comes directly from EU funding, and therefore from outside of Switzerland.

If the Swiss projecet is MC funded (presumably because of a strong collaboration with an EU partner), then I suspect you will be subject to "normal" Swiss taxation and pension contributions. In this case, I would guess that all of your income (salary + allowances) is taxable.

Good luck with the MC Fellowship! There quite prestigous, or so my girlfriend keeps telling me!

Lee
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  #65  
Old 20.11.2007, 20:02
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Re: Postdoc tax question

Hi Rodi,

I will hold a personal MC fellowship (IEF). Is there any information about the "special taxation and pension contributions" on the web? Does special mean that I would be invited to pay taxes twice?

There's plenty of info on the taxation of MC fellowships on the net - in fact, if memory serves, there are links directly from the MC website. However, all of this info relates to MC fellowships taking place in EU-17 states. In my opinion (and please bear in mind I have only second-hand experience of the MC scheme) your situation is a little special, since you'll be working in a non-EU country.

Certainly, you will not be taxed twice. In fact, you may have some control over where you are taxed, but I doubt it. I would guess that you will pay tax in the country in which you reside during the period of your MC fellowship - presumably Switzerland. This is probably a good thing - taxation in Switzerland is quite low. In Aargau (near Zurich) I take home 75% of my Gross (Brutto) salary after all taxes/pension/insurance, etc. is subtracted.

Right now I'm still in the UK. In the UK at some universities you pay tax on the "mobility allowance", while for others it is tax-free. This is why I'm curious to hear if things in Switzerland are handled more uniformly.

This sounds a little odd. Taxation is not set by the university, but by the government (local, or nantional). There are two possible scanarios that explain your experience:

1) Some universities are "forgetting" to declare the mobility allowance, when they should.

2) Some universities are mistakenly declaring the mobility allowance, when they shouldn't.

I'm sure you've been in the academic system long enough to realise that with the inept administartion plaguing most universities, both of these scenarios are far from impossible!

Thank you very much for your answer! If I learn something new on the issue, I'm happy to post it here.

Please do! The reason I post answers/info now, is because of all the useful info I found on the forum in the past.

Good luck with your Fellowship!

Lee
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  #66  
Old 20.11.2007, 23:39
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Re: Postdoc tax question

Hi Lee, thanks for your suggestions. I will browse the web some day to find out more about taxation! But first I will be looking for a nice place to live in Lausanne

See you, Rodi
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  #67  
Old 11.12.2007, 12:38
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Re: Postdoc tax question

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Hi Lee! This forum is indeed very active given such quick responses

I will hold a personal MC fellowship (IEF). Is there any information about the "special taxation and pension contributions" on the web?
Rodi
I was looking for this info too before I came here and had no clue what my net would be until I got my first pay slip. Here is my current info, hope it helps:
I just started an MC IEF at ETH Zurich and I am paying taxes and social deductions (pension, accident + unemployment insurance ...) on everything except the travel allowance. Not only that, they also deduct the employer contributions for pension whatever else from everything except the travel allowance - that's 14% off my gross. On what remains I pay about 10% taxes and 7% social stuff.
They also use an exchange rate EUR/CHF of 1.5 and will pay me the difference if the actual rate is better at the end of my IEF in 2009.

In short, instead of the 110000CHF I was expecting I am currently getting CHF 87000 (CHF 72000 net) and will be getting another CHF15000 in 2009 if the exchange rate stays the same.
I was expecting way higher taxes and social deductions though so my net income is about what I was hoping before I came here. Plus living here is not nearly as expensive as I though. My base living costs are about CHF1500/month (cheap+shared rent is key here) = 25% of my net income.

So MC is quite nice, even though it is just a marginal improvement over the standard ETH postdoc salary (starts at 78k). What really sucks is the EMBO fellowship - you go to the trouble to get a fellowship and as a reward you get about CHF20000 less salary than your labmates along with no ETH discounts, insurance and pension contributions.
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  #68  
Old 11.12.2007, 12:40
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Re: Postdoc tax question

I have a postdoctoral fellowship from the US so technically I am not an employee of the ETH.

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I am curious as to whether you are covered for such events by the ETH. Should these bills not have been paid by their (ETHz) insurance given that it happened whilst you were at work?
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  #69  
Old 08.01.2008, 06:43
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Re: Postdoc tax question

To answer Rodi's question, yes, the Marie Curie allowance will also have to pay the employer contribution if you have an Intra European Fellowship. This is 100% certain unless you manage to convince your uni to pay these costs from other sources, like their own budget, which is not likely. (You can argue they will get money themselves with the overhead costs, but they cannot use that to pay your pension, so you could only convince them to fund it indirectly, if that).

I am in Bern and all our allowances are taxed, the mobility, the travel, the career allowance, and all at shocking rates (between 30-80% depending on how many allowances are paid together in one month; in other words, make sure they do not pay travel+career in one month!). I have not been able to find out if other EIF fellows (or IEF as they are now called?) in other cities are treated differently.

For the record, it is the university which has some decision power, as they will assess whether they want to risk paying your tax should they make a wrong guess, which seems the case with all quellensteuered employees (taxed at source this means). So ours was conservative and decided to assume the worst. After a long fight, we were unable to change this policy and are still paying taxes out of our ears on these allowances. If other kantons have treated some of you better, could you please post, as that would be valuable info.

See this very good document: http://www.geosciencenet.com/payment...low%20MCFA.pdf

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From the total LIVING allowance paid by the Commission, the social security contributions of the host institution (employer contribution) are deducted to obtain the gross salary of the fellow. From this, tax and social security contributions of the fellow are deducted to obtain the net salary of the fellow.

LIVING allowance paid by the Commission
(-) employers social security contribution
=> gross salary of the fellow
(-) tax and employees social security contribution
=> net salary of the fellow
In Swiss situations, this means the gross salary is called: brutto; no tax will deducted from this initially, the tax will be deducted from your living allowance minus employer contributions (arbeitsgeberbeitrage).

To give an example of what would happen to an average IEF salary:
  • 47.000 Euros salary times the 1.24 factor for CH = ~58300 Euros
  • 58300 Euros times the exchange rate of ~1.63 = ~95000 CHF; make this 90k as universities will start with a conservative exchange rate
  • so 90000 minus employer pension contributions, accident, and social insuranc (unempl.) of 13.5% = 79500 this your brutto salary per year
  • divide by 13 months to get at monthly income before tax = 6100
  • add mobility allowance of ~950 CHF for single person, for the normal 12 months
  • substract the tax on the final total of 7050,
5100 = final monthly income

So you started with ~95000 a year for a living allowance, and ~11500 for a mobility allowance, this translates to roughly 12*5100 (+ 3.500 netto) for the 13th month = 64700. Effectively, this means your total tax and social contributions equal about 40% in 'taxes'. In theory, the employer pension contribution should go to your pension, so check the overview you will get from your pension fund to make sure that the uni paid this in!

Last edited by muze7; 11.01.2008 at 20:06. Reason: Made it into a mini guide for taxation for MC fellows in Switzerland
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  #70  
Old 11.01.2008, 19:41
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Re: Postdoc tax question

An update: it is possible that some postdocs, including Marie Curie Fellows can qualify for the expatriate allowance of 1500 CHF off the taxable monthly income.

The rules on this are listed in Merkblatt 8, see English translation at: http://www.steueramt.zh.ch/html/engl...atriates_e.htm

I think this law is national, but that it is up to each tax office (of your kanton) to decide if your postdoc job, and your particular background, lets you qualify for this exemption. I know in Bern for example it is possible in principle, but I do not yet know if the steuerambt accepts it for IEF fellows.

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1 These guidelines based on § 25 and § 26 of Zurich's Law on Taxation (LT) provide rules for the deductibility of exceptional professional expenditure arising to senior staff or specialists because they are sent to Switzerland temporarily by a foreign employer or are temporarily employed here for a limited duration contract.................

Senior staff and specialists who have a work permit for at least one year (compare 8) and are living in Switzerland (central point of their lives) are subject to these guidelines if they retain a permanent residence in their country of origin or if they intend to return there in the foreseeable future.
Note, for Marie Curie fellows or Postdocs who get expenses paid or get the EU allowances in such a way that they are added to your monthly income, and then tax is taken out, the following paragraph applies to you:

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24 If a member of senior staff or a specialist receives all-inclusive payment for exceptional professional expenses within the meaning of paragraph 11 ff. the exceptional professional expenses are taken into account - irrespective of the civil status of the taxable person - with a monthly all-inclusive sum of Fr. 1,500.--. The employer has to subtract Fr. 1,500.-- from the total monthly salary paid out (including the all-inclusive payment) and deduct tax at source from the sum remaining.
This means you would add the salary + mobility allowance (plus travel + career in some months), then substract 1500, and calculate tax on the remainder. For people who did not know about this expatriate option who have to do their tax return over 2007, ask your tax accountant if this expat status for postdocs is possible in your kanton. Note you have to submit by 31.03.08 if you want to try this.

Last edited by muze7; 11.01.2008 at 20:08.
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  #71  
Old 12.01.2008, 17:21
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Re: Postdoc tax question

Thank you muze7, your information is useful indeed!

In my case, the employer's contribution for social security are taken also from the mobility allowance and carreer allowance. As the document you cited explains under "MOBILITY", this is possible depending on national law.

I got the following information from my university:
58656 EUR living + 7488 EUR mobility = 66144 EUR
exchange rate 1.55 -> 102523 CHF
-14% employers deductions
= 88170 CHF brut
I do not know yet about my net salary.

By the way, in Germany it seems that allowances are all free from any deductions (not even tax are taken away):
http://mariecurie.org/pipermail/mcfa...ly/000324.html

I will take a look to the 1500 CHF free-of-tax amount you mentioned at a later time, thanks for this advice!
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  #72  
Old 12.01.2008, 18:09
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Re: Postdoc tax question

Hi everybody!

I see there are a lot of post docs round here! I will be presenting my thesis in 2 months, and after that I will be going to EAWAG in Zurich for 4 months or so (may - september I believe), but I will go there with my Spanish salary (round 1300€ netto). Does anyone know if it is possible to have a somekind of fellowship from the ETH (the EAWAG depends on it) or simmilar to top up somehow my salary?

Thank you all!
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  #73  
Old 27.01.2008, 17:21
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Re: Postdoc tax question

Hi,

Just a reply to a note I saw on Insurance. I am from the UK and working in Lausanne. I took up the swisscare insurance and I have had to use it unfortunately.

1, Signing up is real easy
2, its cheap
3, bear in mind that it doesnt cover any pre existing ailments.

4, You send medical bills from the doc and chemist direct to Paris where they are dealt with. However, they say that them will reeimburse you within 30 days. I have waited over 2 months with the hospital breathing down my neck. I have worked with french companies before and this one is no different, unreliable disorganised and many times rude.

If you have money to keep phoning them up and send all your bills recorded delivery then go with them... but i would choose someone else now.

With respect to living standards here, I was paid 38G in the UK and my life is much better here. I have saved more and quality is much better.

Enjoy yourself
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  #74  
Old 27.02.2008, 21:25
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Re: Postdoc tax question

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Hi Everyone,

I'm a UK citizen and I've been offered a postdoc position at a Swiss university. Having received a breakdown of my proposed salary I noticed that I'm expected to pay income tax and impôts à la source (withholding tax?). This takes the overall deductions to around 28%. Would you say this is about right?

Can someone explain to me what the impôts à la source is and if it's levied only on overseas workers?

Thanks.
Hi! There is a page on myscience.ch explaining what are taxes at the source on income for foreigners. The amount of tax you will pay at the end of year depends however strongly on the cantonal tax rate. There are "tax friendly" cantons like Zürich, Zug or Schwyz, and tax hells like Uri, Bern, Jura, etc... Have a look at this comparison: http://www.linker.ch/eigenlink/steuervergleich.htm
The difference is quite huge!
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  #75  
Old 28.02.2008, 23:06
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Re: Postdoc tax question

Oh yeah, if anyone's thinking about doing a chemistry postdoc at Bern and they offer you a percentage wage (75 %, for example), you don't get the 25 % time off...

[/looking for a new position]

It's coming up to the ever-so-fun new contract time for me. There's still been no official word on whether I'm definitely being kept on despite having asked. I've been given a project student who starts just before my current contract expires and is here for ten weeks, so I guess they're expecting me to stay. Anyone know what the position is regarding negotiation for new contracts as a postdoc slave?
I know in our group, if someone leaves, instead of bumping up our salaries to something approachin 100 %, they'd rather hire new people at similarly reduced wages. Our research leader was telling us that no-one in the department has a 100 % salary, so we shouldn't expect one. However, a little quiet digging about showed this up as bollocks.

I'm a bit cheesed off as several academics who had previously shown some interest in me have now gone decidedly silent regarding new positions.

bloody hell.
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  #76  
Old 01.03.2008, 10:39
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Re: Postdoc tax question

Could someone tell me what is the average (more or less) postdoc salary at Bern University (100%)?
I should move to Bern in the future...

Thanks.
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  #77  
Old 01.03.2008, 13:46
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Re: Postdoc tax question

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Does anybody else have a fellowship? If so, will you pay taxes back to your home country or to Switzerland? I'm still not 100% sure how the whole thing works.
Hey I noticed this was posted about a year ago, as I have a post doc fellowship, just started in January this year, I was wondering what the deal is for taxes on your fellowship. I've heard some conflicting things, so hearing from someone who presumably has gone through the process would be helpful.
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  #78  
Old 01.03.2008, 19:19
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Re: Postdoc tax question

Depends, which country is yours from?

Colonelboris, which department are you in?
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  #79  
Old 01.03.2008, 19:26
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Re: Postdoc tax question

Mine's from the US, I may have the same fellowship as chemgoddess as there aren't a lot of Postdoc fellowships from the US for international positions.
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  #80  
Old 01.03.2008, 19:32
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Re: Postdoc tax question

Have you asked her? Because then I have no idea, I only know that mine is from outside CH, but I need to pay tax here because I am deemed to live here. I am trying to use the expat allowance (see thread on this with this name) but do not yet know if it works. However, postdocs are often on fixed contracts, and are experts of sorts, so it might work, as our tax advisor investigated this option.
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