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Old 12.11.2012, 20:53
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which Kanton - does it matter?

I am moving to Stans in a few weeks and am about to view properties in Nidwalden, Obwalden and Lucerne. I have been warned that there are tax implications based upon the Kanton that I live in. As a complete novice to the Swiss way of life, is this a fact? And, is it a problem?
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Old 12.11.2012, 21:25
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Re: which Kanton - does it matter?

Yes, it can make a difference to your tax bill but you'll be taxed at source to start with (first 5 years of residency on a B permit). Taxes in Switzerland are based on where you live, not on where you work, so that is why many people try and live in a lower tax canton.

But it's not just the tax side of things to look at. Sometimes a neighbouring canton may have lower taxes, but things like petrol may be more expensive.
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Old 12.11.2012, 23:03
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Re: which Kanton - does it matter?

You can get a quick and dirty calculation of the varying tax rates on Comparis - choose either Steuervergleich if you are on normal taxation or Quellensteuer if you are on that tax regime.

http://www.comparis.ch/finanzen.aspx

If on Quellensteuer you are taxed at the average rate across all towns in the canton - so you only need to worry about cantonal differences.

If on normal taxation, your rate will differ by canton and Gemeinde, so more comparison is needed.

What this all boils down to: Assuming Quellensteuer and earning the magical 120K, the calculator says you'd pay ca. 13,500 in NW, 14,200 in OW and 15,700 in LU.

If on normal taxation at 120K, randomly pulling the lowest tax towns in those cantons: Hergiswil NW - 19,500, Sarnen OW - 22,300 and Meggen LU 20,000.

If you earn above 120K, you will be on normal taxation even with a B permit. All C permits are on normal taxation.

The above was figured on a single person, no children, no religion. Your civil status, religious affiliation and number of children will change the numbers.

Tax rates are progressive - differences among cantons/Gemeinden will be more marked as you approach gazillionaire income levels.

As always with everything in Switzerland: YMMV. Play around with the calculator to give you an idea of what you are getting into.

---

But there's more to life than saving taxes. Then again - NW, OW and LU are all lovely places to live.

Good luck!
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Old 13.11.2012, 10:31
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Re: which Kanton - does it matter?

Thanks All, lots of useful information.

So, given that I will be moving on my own at first before the family moves over, what is my status for the tax calculations. I am married, and I have one 16 year old and one 19 year old, both in full time education. If I put 2 children into the tax calculation, then it almost halves but is this a correct interpretation of the rules as I will be supporting them, but not in Switzerland.
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Old 13.11.2012, 13:27
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Re: which Kanton - does it matter?

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Thanks All, lots of useful information.

So, given that I will be moving on my own at first before the family moves over, what is my status for the tax calculations. I am married, and I have one 16 year old and one 19 year old, both in full time education. If I put 2 children into the tax calculation, then it almost halves but is this a correct interpretation of the rules as I will be supporting them, but not in Switzerland.
Nick, I'm afraid I don't know how non-resident children affect tax status.

However there are likely folks who have been in similar situations to yours - perhaps you could post this question in the Tax/Finance section where it might be more easily seen.
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