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Old 17.12.2006, 15:27
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What to request for a housing allowance?

Hi all,
We are new to the forum here, and hope that we're am not asking something that has already been answered in the past. I have browsed through most of the forum and have not found an answer, so here goes.

My husband is in the process of negotiating a relocation package for a transfer to his company's office in Zug. We tentatively plan to live in Zurich, with Patrick taking the train to Zug every day (almost all the office does that, with the full support of the company). We have two children, and would need at least a three-bedroom/4 1/2 room apartment.

For context, his job is mid/upper management level, yearly remuneration CHF 120k+, and the company will pay for private/international school tuition (if we want it, although we have not yet decided whether to take advantage of that, for a number of reasons).

I know from browsing through apartment search websites that this type of place can run anywhere from CHF 3000-5000 per month and up, depending on location, amenities, etc. With all that being said, what is the general housing allowance that an expat with this type of job/package would receive in Zurich?

Thanks for your help.
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Old 17.12.2006, 15:45
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Re: What to request for a housing allowance?

Housing packages are whatever you are able to negotiate...

However, as I see you are from Atlanta, are you US citizens? And, if so, are you aware of the recent changes to the rules for housing deductions for overseas taxpayers? Depending on your situation, this could have significant impact on your US tax liability, and should be considered in your negotiation.

Also, are you aware of the difference in tax rates between Zürich and Zug? Taxes in Zug are quite a bit lower. Something to consider when choosing where to live...
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Old 17.12.2006, 16:34
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Re: What to request for a housing allowance?

I know the U.S. tax law regarding housing allowances/deductions as of a few months ago, and am vaguely familiar with Swiss tax law (which is factoring into our decision whether to rent out or sell our house). My husband's company is considering changing to a complete tax equalization policy, so that *may* take care of that issue, at least where U.S. tax implications are concerned.

We are also aware of the tax difference between Zug and Zurich, but we think we are willing to take the hit in order to live in Zurich. We will be coming out at the end of February for a visit so that our decisions won't be completely uninformed. We'll see; the company is providing us with tax consultancy as well, so we may well change our minds once we see the hard numbers on paper!
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