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Old 21.04.2010, 17:26
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Taxation after marriage

I have tried to find the answer to this question here on forum but I have not found any answer. I only read that some new regulation regarding tax amount of married people applies.

My question is does Swiss national has to pay less, more or the same amount for tax after getting married?

I tried to do calculations on tax calculation sites and it seems you pay less than when you are single, but I am not sure is that correct.

Thank you
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Old 21.04.2010, 18:08
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Re: Taxation after marriage

This is correct, unless you have kids.
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Old 21.04.2010, 19:49
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Re: Taxation after marriage

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I have tried to find the answer to this question here on forum but I have not found any answer. I only read that some new regulation regarding tax amount of married people applies.

My question is does Swiss national has to pay less, more or the same amount for tax after getting married?

I tried to do calculations on tax calculation sites and it seems you pay less than when you are single, but I am not sure is that correct.

Thank you
This is a sensitive political issue, and not just in Switzerland (think of Gordon Brown's marriage bonus). Here's the Swiss story (sorry, not available in English): http://www.efd.admin.ch/dokumentatio...x.html?lang=fr

Since unlike me you are probably not interested int he academic side of this, I will leave you with a cite to a law journal note on what happened in the USA when, after income splitting (related to community property laws, or what in Switzerland is the régime matrimonial (and, as in Alaska and unlike California and other US states, it's at the option of the couple) several states abolished community property: http://www.scribd.com/doc/30036669/5...eview-332-1950

In short: income is treated (with some exceptions in law) as if it were divided between the couple, to the advantage of an unemployed spouse or where one spouse earns more than the other.

Britain hasn't discovered this yet. Even though it has ancient case law on the subject of "immutability" (vs. the American "partial mutability") of the marital regime. But I digress.
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Old 22.04.2010, 09:37
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Re: Taxation after marriage

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This is correct, unless you have kids.
Thank you

And what if both of us are employed and I am not Swiss citizen and work under permit, does it change situation? Is then tax amount also less than it would be if we were singles?

Thanks again
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Old 22.04.2010, 09:46
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Re: Taxation after marriage

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This is a sensitive political issue, and not just in Switzerland (think of Gordon Brown's marriage bonus). Here's the Swiss story (sorry, not available in English): http://www.efd.admin.ch/dokumentatio...x.html?lang=fr

Since unlike me you are probably not interested int he academic side of this, I will leave you with a cite to a law journal note on what happened in the USA when, after income splitting (related to community property laws, or what in Switzerland is the régime matrimonial (and, as in Alaska and unlike California and other US states, it's at the option of the couple) several states abolished community property: http://www.scribd.com/doc/30036669/5...eview-332-1950

In short: income is treated (with some exceptions in law) as if it were divided between the couple, to the advantage of an unemployed spouse or where one spouse earns more than the other.

Britain hasn't discovered this yet. Even though it has ancient case law on the subject of "immutability" (vs. the American "partial mutability") of the marital regime. But I digress.
Andy,

I appreciate you effort, but I am not familiar with French neither German. I tried to read it using Google translate, but this is tough subject and it is more difficult to understand then.

I know that after marriage everything is split between couples equally and all property they gain after they got married belongs to both equally unless some prearrangement is made, but I am not sure what exactly is your point. Sorry, it is because language barriers
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Old 22.04.2010, 12:17
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Re: Taxation after marriage

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Andy,

I appreciate you effort, but I am not familiar with French neither German. I tried to read it using Google translate, but this is tough subject and it is more difficult to understand then.

I know that after marriage everything is split between couples equally and all property they gain after they got married belongs to both equally unless some prearrangement is made, but I am not sure what exactly is your point. Sorry, it is because language barriers
My point is that (as others have said) marriage effectively reduces the combined tax. But further changes are in store. Here's my informal (and very rapid) translation of the summary of the document I linked to before:

Abstract

Fiscal equity between taxpayers with children and taxpayers without children must be improved. Furthermore, all parents must be put on an equal plane with respect to taxation, irrespective of whether they have or have not custody of their children. The Federal Chambers have already approved the Federal law to this end. This will enter into force on 1 February 2011. All that is pending is a decision concerning the future taxation (community or separate) of married couples, stemming from the fact that the 2007 consultation on this matter came up against political stonewalling. Insofar as federal direct taxation is concerned, the discrimination against married persons has already been considerably relaxed by measures adopted in 2006 and immediately put into effect.


This makes clear that there is political disagreement, and that there was, at least formerly, discrimination against married couples.

It is true that the marital regime (community or separate or some variation of the two) is established either by default or by pre-nuptial agreement. Although in principle "immutable" (unchangeable), in fact one can have it changed by appeal to a family judge. My PhD mentor, head of the notarial programme at the Law Faculty I attended, said that in fact such applications are routinely rubber-stamped.

The other article I linked to dealt with the issue in the USA which, because state laws vary, had to resolve a conflict following a Supreme Court decision that made income tax cheaper for couples married and living in community property states (there are 19 of those now, plus Puerto Rico). As a result, other states started enacting CP laws, and then Congress made income-splitting available to all married couples and many or most of those "new" CP laws were repealed. The article discusses anomalies that resulted.

There's another issue hinted at but not explicitly discussed in the Swiss account: more than half of all births in the USA, France and Britain are non-marital (what used to be called "illegitimate"). So much so that the law can no longer ignore, nor discriminate against, the offspring of non-marital relationships. How this works out in practice I can't say because I have not studied Swiss taxation closely enough; I only know (from personal experience) that a spouse's property is taken into account for AVS contributions (in the case of unemployed rentiers) and, presumably, wealth taxation under certain circumstances.

For the rest: this political hot potato ("hot" I suppose insofar as religion, and by extension marriage, is less important than it once was; that discrimination against those affected by nonconforming status is a human rights issue; and it is objectively objectionable to prejudice conventional, married people) has been aired in the UK, the USA and elsewhere. It tends to come up against attitudes towards marriage and civil partnership for gays and lesbians and the issue used by extremists for their own purposes.

I leave it to others to answer your question more specifically and practically. From the above, you will see that you are not alone in your concerns. Your accountant can surely tell you all you need to know about how it affects you. As could your tax office, if they care to take the time and trouble.
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Old 23.04.2010, 21:24
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Re: Taxation after marriage

Simple answer:

  • Only 1 income: A married couple pay less taxes thanks to higher deductions, concessionary tax tables, etc.
  • Dual incomes: It depends! The income of both spouses are clubbed, hence pushing taxable income into a higher slab. But there are higher deductions for a married couple. So it all depends on the income levels, residence, etc.
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Old 23.04.2010, 21:25
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Re: Taxation after marriage

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My point is that (as others have said) marriage effectively reduces the combined tax. But further changes are in store. Here's my informal (and very rapid) translation of the summary of the document I linked to before:

Abstract

Fiscal equity between taxpayers with children and taxpayers without children must be improved. Furthermore, all parents must be put on an equal plane with respect to taxation, irrespective of whether they have or have not custody of their children. The Federal Chambers have already approved the Federal law to this end. This will enter into force on 1 February 2011. All that is pending is a decision concerning the future taxation (community or separate) of married couples, stemming from the fact that the 2007 consultation on this matter came up against political stonewalling. Insofar as federal direct taxation is concerned, the discrimination against married persons has already been considerably relaxed by measures adopted in 2006 and immediately put into effect.


This makes clear that there is political disagreement, and that there was, at least formerly, discrimination against married couples.

It is true that the marital regime (community or separate or some variation of the two) is established either by default or by pre-nuptial agreement. Although in principle "immutable" (unchangeable), in fact one can have it changed by appeal to a family judge. My PhD mentor, head of the notarial programme at the Law Faculty I attended, said that in fact such applications are routinely rubber-stamped.

The other article I linked to dealt with the issue in the USA which, because state laws vary, had to resolve a conflict following a Supreme Court decision that made income tax cheaper for couples married and living in community property states (there are 19 of those now, plus Puerto Rico). As a result, other states started enacting CP laws, and then Congress made income-splitting available to all married couples and many or most of those "new" CP laws were repealed. The article discusses anomalies that resulted.

There's another issue hinted at but not explicitly discussed in the Swiss account: more than half of all births in the USA, France and Britain are non-marital (what used to be called "illegitimate"). So much so that the law can no longer ignore, nor discriminate against, the offspring of non-marital relationships. How this works out in practice I can't say because I have not studied Swiss taxation closely enough; I only know (from personal experience) that a spouse's property is taken into account for AVS contributions (in the case of unemployed rentiers) and, presumably, wealth taxation under certain circumstances.

For the rest: this political hot potato ("hot" I suppose insofar as religion, and by extension marriage, is less important than it once was; that discrimination against those affected by nonconforming status is a human rights issue; and it is objectively objectionable to prejudice conventional, married people) has been aired in the UK, the USA and elsewhere. It tends to come up against attitudes towards marriage and civil partnership for gays and lesbians and the issue used by extremists for their own purposes.

I leave it to others to answer your question more specifically and practically. From the above, you will see that you are not alone in your concerns. Your accountant can surely tell you all you need to know about how it affects you. As could your tax office, if they care to take the time and trouble.
Very erudite! Wow!!
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Old 23.04.2010, 22:52
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Re: Taxation after marriage

The taxes are the easy part about marriage....
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Old 28.04.2010, 15:15
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Re: Taxation after marriage

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Simple answer:

  • Only 1 income: A married couple pay less taxes thanks to higher deductions, concessionary tax tables, etc.
  • Dual incomes: It depends! The income of both spouses are clubbed, hence pushing taxable income into a higher slab. But there are higher deductions for a married couple. So it all depends on the income levels, residence, etc.
Higher deductions for married couple? Which deduction you mean here. Dual incomes without kid, you always pay more than being singles... Did you find any exception to it?
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Old 28.04.2010, 15:21
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Re: Taxation after marriage

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Thank you

And what if both of us are employed and I am not Swiss citizen and work under permit, does it change situation? Is then tax amount also less than it would be if we were singles?

Thanks again
If both of you are on work permit, taxed at source, married and without children, I would tend to say that you would pay more than if you were singles.
That's the reason why you see the marriages happening only when the girl is pregnant.
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Old 03.05.2010, 14:45
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Re: Taxation after marriage

The tax rate is lower when being married - however if you are a 2 income unit you will be in a higher band - so potentially pay more.

The Swiss system is designed around single income family units.
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