Some info about taxes?
Swiss taxes: A 3-part system.
Did you know that? The Swiss like things in threes: the three national languages, the three pillars of the pension system, and to go with it, the three taxations’ levels!
Let's focus here on those last three. So, there are 3 levels of taxation: the commune, the canton and the Confederation. This means three different calculation rules and finally three different bills. (Like it’s not complicated enough...)
We all want to pay less tax, and it is possible! But to be able to achieve these optimisations, it is necessary to have a good understanding of the Swiss tax system...
Taxes in the Canton of Vaud
Let's look at our beloved canton of Vaud and analyse how taxes are calculated in this wonderful part of Switzerland!
In this section, we will take the time to go through several interrogations. In particular:
Are there any notable differences between the 301 communes that populate it? What deductions are available and how can they be maximised? What about donations and inheritances? What will happen to pension assets when I retire?
Taxation in Geneva
Do you live in Vully? No? Then, in Versoix perhaps?
In any case, you will have to submit to the particularities of the tax laws in force in your Geneva commune! Each commune has its own... and must obey its canton.
The canton of Geneva, like all the others, wanted to make its own unique recipe and has constructed its own method of calculation. It is composed of a cascade of increasingly crazy steps, which of course (otherwise it's not funny enough), change according to your financial and family situation!
And all this for what?
In my opinion, to keep you away from fiscal wisdom.
Wisdom means savings! Basic... (or simple I never know)
Let's not joke, because taxes, let's be honest, suck.
Apart from the slightly painful calculation procedure, depending on your family situation (do you have children? are you married? etc.), the canton of Geneva can still be quite generous with authorised deductions, and allow you to ease your tax burden.
For example, Geneva allows you to have more than CHF 80,000 in assets per person without completely free of taxes. This amount increases according to the number of people living in the household.
On the other hand, for the wealthiest taxpayers who have chosen the wrong commune of residence, watch out! This canton can simply be a money pit.
Taxation for Switzerland’s non-inhabitant
You live in another country than Switzerland, but you have decided to pursue your career there? Then this section is dedicated for you. You have to understand how your income in Switzerland is taxed, so that you can optimise it!
Are they subject to withholding tax? Do you have to apply for quasi-resident status and go through a subsequent ordinary taxation (TOU)? How should you declare a withdrawal from your 2nd or 3rd pillar for tax purposes? Are there any deductions that are allowed without having to file an ordinary tax return (3rd pillar, BVG purchase, transport)?
If you have decided to work for us, there must be good reasons. But why not make your situation even better by reducing your taxes as much as possible?
Direct federal tax
After the municipalities and the cantons, we can imagine now it's the Confederation’s turn! Yes, the bad news is that this is the third layer we were missing. We could have done without it, but this is the 3-in-1 effect of the tax administration. It too is entitled to its share.
But the good news is that it's the smallest of the three, the easiest to calculate and, above all, the same for all of Switzerland! Do you live in Zurich? (Be brave with the traffic!) Do you live in the bottom of the Val d'Anniviers? (How's the snow?). We don't care this time! Only your income and your family situation are decisive.
So, would you like to know how the direct federal tax is calculated? Let’s have a look!
As of 2021, tax of source will be harmonised across Switzerland
Deductions for lunch and transport are not allowed for teleworking days in the cantons of Geneva and Vaud
Deductions for lunch and transport are not allowed for teleworking days in the cantons of Geneva and Vaud.
As of 2021, tax at source will be harmonised across Switzerland.