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Old 26.02.2020, 11:49
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Which German-speaking cantons [lowest tax]?

Hi there EF's Members !

I am planning to relocate to Switzerland for work, and I would be very grateful and appreciative for any inputs to share with me.

I checked a some online monthly net salary calculators e.g. https://ethz.ch/en/the-eth-zurich/wo...alculator.html

And, I noticed somewhat a substantial differences based on the "Canton of residence". Therefore, I would kindly ask: Which German-speaking cantons have the absolute lowest income tax? Any official webpage for such info?

Very best regards, and thank you all very much for the great forum with tons of valuable info!
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Old 26.02.2020, 12:04
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Re: Which German-speaking cantons?

Better work it out from where you work, rather than spending hours on the train just because your village has the lowest tax.
Apart from that, often: the lower the taxes, the higher the rent.

You can find the information on Comparis.ch
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Old 26.02.2020, 12:08
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Re: Which German-speaking cantons [lowest tax]?

Here is what appears to be a pretty good article about it:

https://lenews.ch/2018/07/12/the-lar...swiss-cantons/
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Old 26.02.2020, 12:08
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Re: Which German-speaking cantons [lowest tax]?

Generally, Ct. Zug and Schwyz have the most favorable tax conditions. This article should assist you:

https://www.watson.ch/schweiz/wirtsc...-schweiz#h4_23

If you are subject to Quellensteuer (source-tax), i.e., earning less than CHF 120'000 p.A., then the canton is more important than the specific community in the canton.
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Old 26.02.2020, 12:23
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Re: Which German-speaking cantons [lowest tax]?

Thank you all very much!
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Old 26.02.2020, 12:52
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Re: Which German-speaking cantons [lowest tax]?

Simply put: there are three levels of taxation: Federation, canton and local community. Looking at the canton alone does not give you the full picture - it heavily depends on the exact town or village. Popular choices for low tax are Zug, and the Höfe district of Schwyz (Pfäffikon SZ, Wollerau SZ, Baech, Samstagern…)
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Old 26.02.2020, 12:53
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Re: Which German-speaking cantons [lowest tax]?

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If you are subject to Quellensteuer (source-tax), i.e., earning less than CHF 120'000 p.A., then the canton is more important than the specific community in the canton.
And if you are not subject to Quellensteuer but rather normal taxation, be aware that in SZ it is only the Höfe Gemeinden that are truly low tax. The March Gemeinden are low-ish but not as attractive as Höfe, and the rest of the communities in the canton are middle of the road, tax-wise.

HOWEVER - there is more to life, and financial planning, than tax rates. Very broadly speaking, SZ can offer lower taxes because it follows a 'user pays' model. So you might find that you pay for services here that might be subsidized through taxation to a greater extent elsewhere.

Also consider housing costs. There is a general rule of thumb that the lower the tax rate the higher the rent.

This sort of runs true in my Gemeinde for luxury flats. However, because my village once was a small farming community, now transitioned into a Steuerparadis dormitory suburb where the demand is for villas and luxury terraces, there are still some bargains to be found among older, smaller, unmodernized, simple flats because they are not what the typical resident wants these days. (Not houses, though - houses will cost a mint regardless of the condition or size.)

Also think of transportation. Out here there is good train transportation into Zürich HB twice an hour if you travel 'normal' times. If you need to travel to the city in the very early hours, or if you travel around the area, you really do need a car. Or two, depending on family needs.

Just a heads up, that your cost of living is a lot more than your tax rate. Look at your whole budget.

But as always, YMMV.
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Old 26.02.2020, 12:56
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Re: Which German-speaking cantons [lowest tax]?

On thing to take into account too. Low tax location = housing shortage, less space, high rents and high everything else. A choice.
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Old 26.02.2020, 13:02
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Re: Which German-speaking cantons [lowest tax]?

Quote:
On thing to take into account too. Low tax location = housing shortage, less space, high rents and high everything else. A choice.
Unfortunately in the greater Zürich metro area you face the same shortages and overcrowding pretty much anywhere. If one has to commute into the city every day there isn't much choice. The green is fast disappearing.
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Old 26.02.2020, 13:03
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Re: Which German-speaking cantons [lowest tax]?

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On thing to take into account too. Low tax location = housing shortage, less space, high rents and high everything else. A choice.
Not really. Its in my experience much harder to find a decent place with a decent rent in Zurich city than in Höfe... sure, prices are high, but: When we moved from ZH city to SZ did we save more on taxes than we pay in rent in total... (And we were nowhere near the super high rollers, but simply had two decent incomes as a married couple.)
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Old 27.02.2020, 13:35
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Re: Which German-speaking cantons [lowest tax]?

If you work in Zurich and live in Zug, you definitely save a lot compared to working in Zurich and living in Zurich. Of course, working in Zug and living in Zug is even better!


If you live in somewhere like Jura or Bern, the lower cost of rent in no way compensates the higher taxes.
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Old 27.02.2020, 13:55
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Re: Which German-speaking cantons [lowest tax]?

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If you live in somewhere like Jura or Bern, the lower cost of rent in no way compensates the higher taxes.
Depends how much you earn. I'm Odile saves by living in the wilds of the Jura.
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