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Old 09.09.2009, 17:19
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Tax refund prospects if paying at source and earning over 120K

In 2008, I earned more than 120K and paid full quellensteuer which was deducted by my employer. There were two months higher than the rest, due to the splitting of the 13th month between Jun and Dec payments.

1. Provided there are no other unusual incomes to account for, can I reasonably expect to have a refund when I turn in my tax forms, which are due on Nov 30?

2. Do I have to declare gains or losses earned outside of CH, such as in my US investment accounts?

3. What about income earned before becoming a CH resident (while working in another country), but which was paid into my UBS account in 2008 after I became a resident?

3. Do I have to provide any copies of tax returns filed in the US?

Thanks very much for any answers to these questions.

Best regards,
Mike
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Old 09.09.2009, 18:15
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Re: Tax refund prospects if paying at source and earning over 120K

I always got a refund from my tax return when I was on Quellensteuer. But I know others who paid more.

If you've any tax-free Swiss investments, or have put a lump sum into your pension, then declare. Otherwise, keep quiet.

You could ask an accountant to work it out for you.
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Old 09.09.2009, 21:59
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Re: Tax refund prospects if paying at source and earning over 120K

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In 2008, I earned more than 120K and paid full quellensteuer which was deducted by my employer. There were two months higher than the rest, due to the splitting of the 13th month between Jun and Dec payments.

1. Provided there are no other unusual incomes to account for, can I reasonably expect to have a refund when I turn in my tax forms, which are due on Nov 30?

2. Do I have to declare gains or losses earned outside of CH, such as in my US investment accounts?

3. What about income earned before becoming a CH resident (while working in another country), but which was paid into my UBS account in 2008 after I became a resident?

3. Do I have to provide any copies of tax returns filed in the US?

Thanks very much for any answers to these questions.

Best regards,
Mike
  1. Quellensteuer (TDS=Tax Deducted at Source) is based on the Cantonal average rate. If you live in a a city/commune (e.g. City of Zurich) that has a tax rate higher than average, then you may have to pay extra taxes when you submit a tax return!
  2. You must declare all global assets and all global incomes.
  3. Your income before you became a Swiss resident is not taxable in CH.
  4. You may be asked for your US tax return to substantiate your declaration of global assets and global income.
Apparently you are asked to file in ZH. Don't assume you are getting a refund.
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Old 13.09.2009, 13:34
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Re: Tax refund prospects if paying at source and earning over 120K

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  1. Quellensteuer (TDS=Tax Deducted at Source) is based on the Cantonal average rate. If you live in a a city/commune (e.g. City of Zurich) that has a tax rate higher than average, then you may have to pay extra taxes when you submit a tax return!
  2. You must declare all global assets and all global incomes.
  3. Your income before you became a Swiss resident is not taxable in CH.
  4. You may be asked for your US tax return to substantiate your declaration of global assets and global income.
Apparently you are asked to file in ZH. Don't assume you are getting a refund.
Also watch out for direct state (national) tax and any relocation expenses . . . I got walloped for these in addition to Quellensteuer.
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Old 13.09.2009, 14:35
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Re: Tax refund prospects if paying at source and earning over 120K

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  1. Quellensteuer (TDS=Tax Deducted at Source) is based on the Cantonal average rate. If you live in a a city/commune (e.g. City of Zurich) that has a tax rate higher than average, then you may have to pay extra taxes when you submit a tax return!
  2. You must declare all global assets and all global incomes.
  3. Your income before you became a Swiss resident is not taxable in CH.
  4. You may be asked for your US tax return to substantiate your declaration of global assets and global income.
Apparently you are asked to file in ZH. Don't assume you are getting a refund.
Do you have any such figure for Geneva? of course,a general idea. Thanks!
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Old 13.09.2009, 15:50
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Re: Tax refund prospects if paying at source and earning over 120K

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Do you have any such figure for Geneva? of course,a general idea. Thanks!
Google for a GE tax calculator.
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Old 06.10.2009, 16:55
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Re: Tax refund prospects if paying at source and earning over 120K

An update on this. We were able to find a reasonably priced tax accountant (also known as "treuhand" in Swiss German) who agreed to prepare the forms for CHF 180. We have met with him, and based on a quick calculation using 5% of my gross salary as a deductible, I'll still owe another CHF 6-7,000 on top of the CHF 47,000 already paid. Thus, I think it is fair to assume that if one is making over CHF 120,000 and living in Zurich, you will have to pay additional, even with being taxed at the source.

Of course, we are workng with him to maximize the deductions, however it is doubtful that I will have to pay no additional tax, since his calculation already assumed a typical level of deductions.
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Old 06.10.2009, 17:41
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Re: Tax refund prospects if paying at source and earning over 120K

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An update on this. We were able to find a reasonably priced tax accountant (also known as "treuhand" in Swiss German) who agreed to prepare the forms for CHF 180. We have met with him, and based on a quick calculation using 5% of my gross salary as a deductible, I'll still owe another CHF 6-7,000 on top of the CHF 47,000 already paid. Thus, I think it is fair to assume that if one is making over CHF 120,000 and living in Zurich, you will have to pay additional, even with being taxed at the source.

Of course, we are workng with him to maximize the deductions, however it is doubtful that I will have to pay no additional tax, since his calculation already assumed a typical level of deductions.
47K as tax at source, is based on your single income as not married, no children?
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Old 07.10.2009, 01:33
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Re: Tax refund prospects if paying at source and earning over 120K

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...I'll still owe another CHF 6-7,000 on top of the CHF 47,000 already paid...
Tell me 47000 was a typo error. Please!
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  #10  
Old 07.10.2009, 01:40
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Re: Tax refund prospects if paying at source and earning over 120K

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Tell me 47000 was a typo error. Please!
Does that include tax paid on relocation payments made by your employer to you?
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Old 07.10.2009, 06:58
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Re: Tax refund prospects if paying at source and earning over 120K

Hi,

Disclaimer: I can only speak with experience of the Baselstadt system and I am not an accountant.

When we used to pay Quellensteuer (i.e. tax at source) the percentage was slightly higher than the normal tax rates based on income and wealth. The principle is the taxman wants to make sure he gets all his dues in case a foreigner on temporary stay skips the country with tax owing. You could file a tax return before your departure to get a rebate on the excess paid.

As our joint incomes were over SFr120,000 we got a tax return anyway - and we had normally overpaid by a few thousand.

In Baselstadt we get a computer program for generating the tax return which (even if it is in German) is relatively easy to fill out and it calculates then your taxable "worth" based on income, assets, deductible allowances (e.g. travel to work costs). It will also calculate your tax liability for the year.

You employer should have given you a "Lohnausweis" (salary declaration) indicating your taxable income for the year and how much QS has been paid so far.

If your Treuhand reckons you have underpaid QS, I would check with your employer - note you should be able to download a QS rates table from your tax department website; the one for BS looks like the logarithm tables we had at school. You find the section pertaining to your marital status, then read down to the line for your monthly income and across to how many children you have.

Also beware of using cheap Treuhands - I once read somewhere (no online reference, sorry) that there are very few controls in terms of qualifications on who can setup as a Treuhand.

Cheers,
Nick
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Old 09.10.2009, 21:20
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Re: Tax refund prospects if paying at source and earning over 120K

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An update on this. We were able to find a reasonably priced tax accountant (also known as "treuhand" in Swiss German) who agreed to prepare the forms for CHF 180.
I recently had a meeting with PwC and asked how much it would cost for them to prepare my tax return on my account, if my company aren't prepared to pay for it. Would anyone like to guess what multiple of your quote I was given...

I'll save you the bother. It was 15x as expensive!

They also told me that it could take two years after submission of a letter of deductions (not here the full year so will make under 120K so can't submit a return, but have MBA fees, interest payments and potentially a pension transfer to deduct) to receive the refund and one year to receive refunds based on a tax return! Yes I know I get interest on it, but there are times when I value 'things' more than interest!

Oh and the additional tax I paid in month 1 because I received a relocation allowance - it's gone: There is no averaging over a year
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Old 09.10.2009, 22:39
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Re: Tax refund prospects if paying at source and earning over 120K

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I recently had a meeting with PwC ...
Hmm, if you need PwC to do your tax, you don't have too many headaches in life! For most mortals, a standard high street accountant will be able to competently deal with your tax issues. The tax authorities here are very reasonable if they see you're trying to cooperate, so don't fear anything if indeed you are cooperating
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Old 10.10.2009, 16:27
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Re: Tax refund prospects if paying at source and earning over 120K

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Hmm, if you need PwC to do your tax, you don't have too many headaches in life! For most mortals, a standard high street accountant will be able to competently deal with your tax issues. The tax authorities here are very reasonable if they see you're trying to cooperate, so don't fear anything if indeed you are cooperating
All depends on who is paying for it... And I'm not.

Did you read the bit about earning less than 120k this year? How complicated can my affairs be? I think paying Quellensteuer counts as co-operating!

PwC are laughing all the way to the bank on this one believe me! I had the privilege of having the meeting with a 'manager' grade. I dread to think what his hourly billing rate is. I expect that when the time comes to fill my return in, it will be done by an intern 3 weeks into his internship. But what the hell, I'm not paying for it and I will ensure I have a copy of the return that I can duplicate in years hence.
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Old 10.11.2009, 14:18
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Re: Tax refund prospects if paying at source and earning over 120K

Paying PwC is a bit out of hand for a simple for a simple tax return but if your company doesn't care about that money, its fine. I think CHF 180 is fair. They were recommended on EF also.

Someone asked if the 47,000 paid for QS was a typo. No it was not. I was single in 2008 (the relevant tax year) and this included tax on about 20K in moving expenses.


As it stands now, the accountant has informed me he is filing the return with a level of income after deductions which would haveme oweing CHF 3,500. He says this is because I reside in Zurich, and the QS tables are based on an average for Switzerland.

I guess the upside is that my US accountant has said he can get a refund from the 2008 tax already paid to the US, based on the "double taxation" rule between CH and US.
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Old 10.11.2009, 21:11
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Re: Tax refund prospects if paying at source and earning over 120K

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All depends on who is paying for it... And I'm not. .
Hi, i think I am in a similar situation and if i'd go with the company's accountancy firm, apparently they services for tax return are difficulty of your case. You (and I) will still have to pay taxes on that and if its about 20% (living in a city for me at least), then that works out 400CHF to 1000 CHF on tax!!! so, you'd be paying more than your average high street accountant anyhow, unless your comany's accountant services much cheaper than mine!

Please correctly - I'd like to be wrong!!!
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Old 10.11.2009, 21:38
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Re: Tax refund prospects if paying at source and earning over 120K

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All depends on who is paying for it... And I'm not.

Did you read the bit about earning less than 120k this year? How complicated can my affairs be? I think paying Quellensteuer counts as co-operating!

PwC are laughing all the way to the bank on this one believe me! I had the privilege of having the meeting with a 'manager' grade. I dread to think what his hourly billing rate is. I expect that when the time comes to fill my return in, it will be done by an intern 3 weeks into his internship. But what the hell, I'm not paying for it and I will ensure I have a copy of the return that I can duplicate in years hence.
problem is that tax advice gets to be better value for money the more you earn/pay in tax. a couple of hours might only be able to save you a few thousand, but it might be able to save someone else tens of thousands or even more and is priced accordingly.
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Old 05.06.2017, 21:57
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Re: Tax refund prospects if paying at source and earning over 120K

Hi All,

I am in similar situation where I was taxed at source. I am married and have single Kid. Now, received a bill which is 40% of my withholding tax amount fpr 2014 year.
Does living in Zurich City makes 40% more than average Kontanal tax rate?
Before make the payment, would like to know any options. Apparently, being new to Zurich in 2014, I couldn't claim much of deductions. Now, I have already crossed the 30 days period for correction as I already received the bill.

Appreciate your valuable thoughts.

Cheers,
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Old 05.06.2017, 22:01
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Re: Tax refund prospects if paying at source and earning over 120K

Did they deduct any amount on the bill for previously paid tax at source? If no, then they forgot - it happens every now and then. Especially if this is a bill for federal taxes which should be 100% covered by tax at source. Give them a call to remind about it and they'll sort it out. Zurich's municipal rate is higher than cantonal average, you'll have to pay some extra, yes, but not 40% extra.
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Old 05.06.2017, 22:54
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Re: Tax refund prospects if paying at source and earning over 120K

Thanks Ivank. I got the federal tax as well as Staats and Gemeinde Steuer both. They have considered my already paid withholding tax and then sent me the remianing amount to be paid by bill which is close to 40%.
According to you, federal tax is included in the with holding tax even if the earning is over 120K?
I worked in Zurich only 8 months and earned 68,000 only and paid 6220 as Withholding tax.
They have calculated Stats and Gemeinde as 7400 and federal tax 1400 and asking me to pay remaining 2600. I had so many emails and phone calls and decision was remained the same.

is this correct? I am non-EU Expat on Deputation to Zurich on Temporary VISA

Appreciate your suggestions.
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