Do expats have to fill out a tax return in Switzerland?

Expat tax return - Filling out the annual tax return is a complex and time-consuming task. Especially for foreign-speaking expats who are not familiar with the peculiarities of the Swiss tax system. For this reason, many expats wonder whether or not they have to fill out a tax return in Switzerland at all.

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The numerous forms, vast amounts of required data and cantonal differences make filling out a tax return in Switzerland a difficult task. It can be particularly challenging for expats who are neither familiar with the language nor with the Swiss tax system.

But do expats even have to fill out a tax return in Switzerland?

Expat tax return

The answer to the above question depends on the type of taxation and the amount of income earned.

No tax return required in case of withholding taxation

Expats who are subject to ordinary tax assessment must complete a tax return. In other words, anyone who pays the ordinary income and wealth tax is obliged to provide the tax authorities with a completed tax return. However, it is possible to delegate this task to a specialist.

If, on the other hand, an expat is subject to the withholding tax, the employer deducts the tax due directly from the salary and submits it to the relevant tax authority. In this case, the expat no longer has to complete a tax return.

Subsequent tax return for income above CHF 120,000

As a rule, employees who are subject to withholding taxation do not have to fill out a tax return. However, it is possible that the tax administration may request a conventional tax return if an employee has various sources of income or large assets

Moreover, there is one important exception to this basic rule. Expats who earn an income of more than CHF 120,000 (Geneva: CHF 500,000) are obliged to file an ordinary tax return retrospectively.

Do you have a question about your tax return? The taxea specialists are happy to assist you with their comprehensive expertise