Understanding wealth tax in the canton of Vaud in 2023

Updated on October, 24th 2023.

I have a first piece of good news to announce to you, we have set up a very simple way to make your tax return in the canton of Vaud, so do not hesitate to entrust it to us!

When it comes to the wealth tax, I have both good and bad news. 

Which one should I start with? 

The good one! 

The Confederation does not tax your wealth. 

The bad one? 

The cantons and communes do, and it is precisely this tax that we are going to explain in this article.

Determining your wealth in the canton of Vaud

Before we start talking about figures, deductions and calculations, the first thing to do is to understand what will be considered part of your assets. There are two broad categories:

Movable assets

As opposed to real estate, movable assets can be made up of :

Your bank accounts (savings account, salary account, rent guarantee, etc.)

Your investments

Share accounts, ETFs, investment funds, bonds, life insurance (note that only the surrender value must be declared), PEAs, PELs, etc.

Your household effects

In theory, if you own works of art, vehicles and other valuables, they should appear on your tax return at their market value.

Your banknotes

This is not common practice, and who can tell? However, the rule would also be that all your financial assets held in the form of cash should be declared at their value on 31.12 in your personal assets.

Real estate wealth

This is all your fixed assets, all your assets that cannot be moved. They include:

  • Flat, house, building in Switzerland
  • Building land in Switzerland
  • Commercial property in Switzerland

Property held abroad will have to be declared but will not be included in your taxable assets.

For your assets located in Switzerland, the assets to be declared will depend on the competent tax authorities, who will provide you with the tax value to be entered on your tax return.

Taxable wealth in the canton of Vaud

Most cantons agree to leave out part of your wealth. To put it simply, they accept that each taxpayer can own a certain number of assets (bank accounts, investments, property) without taxing them from the first franc.

For instance, in the canton of Vaud, below 58,000 CHF for a single person, no taxes will be required. If your wealth is higher than 58,000 CHF, you will have to pay wealth tax. For a married couple the amount is simply doubled, so if together you wealth is higher than CHF 116’000, you will have to pay wealth tax as well.

Don’t be mistaken. Unlike the canton of Geneva (for example), this CHF 58,000 is not a deduction but a threshold below which you will not be taxed. If, after adding up all your assets, you arrive at a total wealth of CHF 100,000, you will not be able to deduct the CHF 58,000 – you will be taxed on the CHF 100,000.

On the other hand, all your debts, whether mortgage-related (linked to a property) or unsecured (without any guarantee), such as consumer credit, can be deducted from your total assets.

The aim of step 2 is to calculate your taxable assets. You take the sum of your assets and subtract your debts. This will give you your taxable wealth.

All that remains is to calculate the rate of tax that will be applied to your taxable assets.

Calculating wealth tax in the canton of Vaud

As described in the introduction, your assets will be taxed at two levels:

  • Your canton of residence
  • Your commune of residence

We therefore need to calculate the tax for each of the two parts and then add them together to obtain the final result.

First stage: Cantonal wealth tax in the canton of Vaud

Quite simple, just one scale and one calculation. Here is an extract from the scale. You can find it in full at this link.

extract from the cantonal wealth tax scale for the canton of Vaud
Figure 1: extract from the Vaud cantonal wealth tax scale

Let’s take a taxable asset of CHF 100,000 as an example. On this CHF 100,000, you will have a basic tax of CHF 77.90. To determine the final cantonal tax, you will have to multiply this basic tax by the cantonal rate, which for the year 2023 is 155%.

As a result, your cantonal wealth tax will be CHF 1.55 x CHF 77.90 = 120.75.

Second stage: Communal wealth tax in the canton of Vaud

No more complicated than step 1, you have to start from the basic tax calculated in step 1 using the same scale, and this time apply the rate for your commune. In our example, we’ll assume that we live in Lausanne.

extract from the municipal tax scale showing each tax rate per municipality for 2022 and 2023 in the canton of Vaud
Figure 2: Extract from the municipal tax scale in the canton of Vaud

All we have to do is take the basic tax of CHF 77.90 and multiply by the Lausanne rate of 78.5% = CHF 61.15.

Finally, you will know how much wealth tax you will have to pay. This is the sum of cantonal tax and municipal tax: CHF 120.75 + CHF 61.15 = CHF 181.90.

Do you want to estimate how much you will pay in taxes? Then you should go check out our taxation calculator!

You don’t live in the canton of Vaud? Don’t worry, we have the equivalent articles for wealth tax in Geneva, and wealth tax in Valais!

By the way, we can also fill your tax return in Geneva and in the canton of Valais. 😉

Discover our new online platform to entrust us with your tax return!

Complete your 2023 tax return online!

Answer a few questions,
Upload your documents,
Enjoy life, we'll handle your tax return!

In the blink of an eye!

I entrust my tax return!

Do you have an opinion? A suggestion ?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *