Basel advice

Basel advice

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eyebeebe

2,214 posts

200 months

Friday 12th March
quotequote all
Pete102 said:
Hahaha, apologies for the F word...in my defence it was more the ability to sample several hundreds of beers!

I do like a good craft brewery though, I'll definitely check out Kitchen Brew. I've got some experience with Pickwicks in Zug, always seems like a decent ex-pat hangout (if a little American at times!), is the other Irish bar in Basel Paddy O'Reillys? (Near Radisson Blu)
I‘d say it‘s better than the one in Zug. I‘m not the biggest fan of there tbh, but there isn‘t much else in Zug!

I don‘t know Basel that well, other than there is a Paddy’s there and one called Flanagans, whose owner I know from when he was in Zurich. I‘m normally passing through Basel rather than it being a destination.

monty999

Original Poster:

893 posts

72 months

Saturday 13th March
quotequote all
eyebeebe said:
Pete102 said:
Haha, thanks. It's more about general taxation requirements.

I'm moving on a permanent contract and I as I understand my tax will paid at source (B-type permit) until I eventually move to a C-type permit (many years down the line). My query is mostly around what type of taxes I'll need to pay (as opposed to how much). I've done a little bit of googling which has thrown up several types of tax, I'm just not sure if they are applicable or not? e.g.

Cantonal tax
Direct federal tax
Communal tax
Church tax
Old age and Invalidity
Unemployment insurance

2nd Question - If I am taxed at source does this encompass all of the applicable taxes or would I still need to submit a separate return?

Any help you can throw my way would be greatly appreciated,
The first three and the last two are compulsory, as is health insurance, which is essentially a tax, but you are free to choose your provider and they cannot reject you for the basic insurance.

Starting with the last two (and some other minor ones that really aren‘t worth concerning yourself with)... these are essentially the equivalent of national insurance. The numbers move around a tiny bit most years, but figure on paying 6.5% in total for social security up to about CHF 150k, then the percentage decreases a little. Your employer will also pay 6.5%.

The first three will move in relation to your income on a progressive scale. It‘s not like the UK where you have a tax free allowance, a 20% band, 40% etc. The federal tax rate at a given income point will be the same everywhere in the country. The cantons are then free to set their own tax rates - at a given income the tax will be the same across the canton. This amount varies massively between cantons. Then the Gemeinde you live in can set its own tax rate as a percentage of the cantonal amount. This amount can vary quite a lot between Gemeinden within the cantons. Therefore deciding where to live can have a massive impact on how much tax you pay.

As you rightly say, you will be taxed at source and will continue to do so until you get a C permit, marry a Swiss or buy Swiss property. What this means is that you will have tax deducted from your pay at the average amount for the canton (with a standard set of deductions assumed). If you earn under CHF 120k to all intents and purposes that‘s it done. However, if you earn over CHF 120k you will be obliged to complete a tax return and your tax at source becomes a downpayment. Depending on the tax rate in the Gemeinde that you live in (above or below the cantonal average) and what individual deductions you can claim for you can end up owing money or getting a refund. As of this year if you earn less than CHF 120k and you want to do a complete tax return you now have that option, but you need to weigh up whether it is in your favour or not. I‘ve read many stories of people insisting they want to do a return, not fully understanding the system and ending up with thousands to pay.

To add to the complexity... if you have a wife and kids you will pay a different level of taxes. You get deductions for kids and non-working spouses. If you both work and are married you will be jointly assessed, which actually means you end up paying more tax, as they combine your income and base the tax rate on the combined higher amount!

Church taxes are completely optional. If you don‘t want to pay them, tell your Gemeinde that you don‘t have a religion when you register, otherwise they will mark you down for church taxes. The amount varies depending on catholic or protestant or other.

One more deduction from your payroll is the compulsory company pension scheme. The amount varies between companies and yours will be able to give you more details.

If any of that doesn‘t make sense or there‘s anything else, just let me know.
At first all of these taxes seemed to be quite confusing if not scary, but having them explained I think makes things a bit clearer.

Would I be right in assuming the following to put things simpler:-

Federal = same as our income tax just different rate with, as you say, no tax free bands

Cantonal and Communal = maybe similar to our council tax which varies massively depending on area/banding ??(just a guess)just collected differently at source of income rather than a separate bill.

Old age & unemployment = again, as you've said, NI contributions. ( question with this one is, in the event of losing her job or sickness, would she be then entitled to benefits as a temporary worker on a B permit ?)

Church Tax = well that's just strange ! maybe they don't have collection boxes at the churches.

Cheers for all the advice so far, she is already on the case for the accommodation to continue after the initial 3 months temporary provided by the employer. They have let her delay her start date by a week in April as from the 12th April we are legally allowed to meet other people which will give her the opportunity to see her friends before departing which is a nice touch.

Pete102

1,785 posts

153 months

Saturday 13th March
quotequote all
monty999 said:
At first all of these taxes seemed to be quite confusing if not scary, but having them explained I think makes things a bit clearer.

Would I be right in assuming the following to put things simpler:-

Federal = same as our income tax just different rate with, as you say, no tax free bands

Cantonal and Communal = maybe similar to our council tax which varies massively depending on area/banding ??(just a guess)just collected differently at source of income rather than a separate bill.

Old age & unemployment = again, as you've said, NI contributions. ( question with this one is, in the event of losing her job or sickness, would she be then entitled to benefits as a temporary worker on a B permit ?)

Church Tax = well that's just strange ! maybe they don't have collection boxes at the churches.

Cheers for all the advice so far, she is already on the case for the accommodation to continue after the initial 3 months temporary provided by the employer. They have let her delay her start date by a week in April as from the 12th April we are legally allowed to meet other people which will give her the opportunity to see her friends before departing which is a nice touch.
Federal - yes, basically the same as income tax, no tax free bands.

Cantonal and communal - Again yes, council tax albeit much higher. It varies ALOT between cantons...Basel is on the higher than average end whereas Zug and Schweiz are much lower (by almost half in some cases). On the plus side it doesn't appear to be based on the type of property you live in (as per the UK)

Old age and unemployment - Yes, I believe upon losing your job you are entitled to it (on a B permit) BUT if you claim social help it can have a negative impact in the event of applying for a C permit / Residency in the future. I also think there may be a delay in being made unemployed and receiving the benefit?

I've been keeping a close eye on infection rates in Swiss and now that non-essential retail has re opened the rates appear to be increasing slowly.

Church Tax - You only pay if you declare you follow one of the main religions.

eyebeebe

2,214 posts

200 months

Saturday 13th March
quotequote all
Pete102 said:
monty999 said:
At first all of these taxes seemed to be quite confusing if not scary, but having them explained I think makes things a bit clearer.

Would I be right in assuming the following to put things simpler:-

Federal = same as our income tax just different rate with, as you say, no tax free bands

Cantonal and Communal = maybe similar to our council tax which varies massively depending on area/banding ??(just a guess)just collected differently at source of income rather than a separate bill.

Old age & unemployment = again, as you've said, NI contributions. ( question with this one is, in the event of losing her job or sickness, would she be then entitled to benefits as a temporary worker on a B permit ?)

Church Tax = well that's just strange ! maybe they don't have collection boxes at the churches.

Cheers for all the advice so far, she is already on the case for the accommodation to continue after the initial 3 months temporary provided by the employer. They have let her delay her start date by a week in April as from the 12th April we are legally allowed to meet other people which will give her the opportunity to see her friends before departing which is a nice touch.
Federal - yes, basically the same as income tax, no tax free bands.

Cantonal and communal - Again yes, council tax albeit much higher. It varies ALOT between cantons...Basel is on the higher than average end whereas Zug and Schweiz are much lower (by almost half in some cases). On the plus side it doesn't appear to be based on the type of property you live in (as per the UK)

Old age and unemployment - Yes, I believe upon losing your job you are entitled to it (on a B permit) BUT if you claim social help it can have a negative impact in the event of applying for a C permit / Residency in the future. I also think there may be a delay in being made unemployed and receiving the benefit?

I've been keeping a close eye on infection rates in Swiss and now that non-essential retail has re opened the rates appear to be increasing slowly.

Church Tax - You only pay if you declare you follow one of the main religions.
You‘re about 80% of the way there Pete smile

Things are a lot more devolved here than they are in the UK, so you can‘t quite put the taxes in the same boxes. For example education is a cantonal issue (to the point where the curriculums are different and I believe also the ages when you got to school). You could say that federal, cantonal and communal taxes are equivalent to UK income and council taxes combined, but they are all based on your income (rather than property value for UK council tax). It‘s worth noting though that while Switzerland is generally low taxation, there is very much a pay as you use culture: Rubbish has to go in a specific bag that costs around CHF 2 for a normal sized one. Any interaction with the council will cost money for example registering where you live and getting your permit. From memory where we live in Schwyz (not Schweiz - that‘s the name of the country in German - the country takes its name from one of the three founding cantons) CHF 20 and CHF 80 respectively. Tax can go much lower than half as well wink

It‘s important to understand the difference between the unemployment insurance you pay and social help. If you have paid into the unemployment for 12 months in the previous 24 (contributions in the EU count too I believe - no idea how that works now the UK is outside though), you will be entitled to 400 working days of insurance payout at 70% of your previous salary (capped at CHF 148k). It‘s a super generous scheme and is a real safety net of basically 2 years pay at a survivable level. In Switzerland you can be legally be terminated without cause, so there is no stigma with claiming. It also has no impact on your residence (and AFAIK is independent from your permit anyway). If you burn through that, then there is social help, which will have an impact on permit renewals and moving from a B to a C permit. That is not fun, is micromanaged and you are expected to pay it back when you get another job. If you don‘t get another job come permit renewal, chances are you will be kicked out.

On the church taxes, yes that‘s correct, there are no collection plates. ISTR seeing that the clergy are on a bloody good wage too.

I agree that all of this sounds quite complicated, but it will be deducted from your wage on a monthly basis, so is nothing to worry about. The three levels of income tax will just be taken as one number and the local tax office will worry about who gets what.

Edited by eyebeebe on Saturday 13th March 14:34

Pete102

1,785 posts

153 months

Saturday 13th March
quotequote all
Thankyou! I'm getting there - I was hoping you'd chime in actually wink

Also, cardinal sin mixing up Schweiz and Schwyz - I should have got it right really as I've been hiking there a few times (Mythen)

monty999

Original Poster:

893 posts

72 months

Saturday 13th March
quotequote all
The query regarding the unemployment/old age tax (NI) contributions is more aimed at wether this would cover any payments in the event of any illness during her employment. In the (hopefully) unlikely event of getting made unemployed she would simply come home.

She is really looking forward to the experience, particularly mixing and socialising with the multi-national people at her company and integrating in the local customs and living. My wife and I are also looking forward to plenty of visits too, initially flying then maybe later in the year a road trip possibly with a few diversions (obviously all depending on travel restrictions !!).

Pete102

1,785 posts

153 months

Saturday 13th March
quotequote all
monty999 said:
The query regarding the unemployment/old age tax (NI) contributions is more aimed at wether this would cover any payments in the event of any illness during her employment. In the (hopefully) unlikely event of getting made unemployed she would simply come home.

She is really looking forward to the experience, particularly mixing and socialising with the multi-national people at her company and integrating in the local customs and living. My wife and I are also looking forward to plenty of visits too, initially flying then maybe later in the year a road trip possibly with a few diversions (obviously all depending on travel restrictions !!).
Ah I see, I can only speak in my case whereby I'm covered for 100% of salary for up to 2 years, this is under the 'KTG' scheme - KrankenTagGeld (sick leave insurance / Salary Continuation insurance). Its my understanding that the employer maybe has to contribute atleast 50% of the cost?, but some will cover the full 100%. The level of salary coverage is also variable....I think.

I'm sure someone more knowledgeable will put it right, if I'm wrong smile.

https://www.englishforum.ch/finance-banking-taxati...

eyebeebe

2,214 posts

200 months

Saturday 13th March
quotequote all
Pete102 said:
monty999 said:
The query regarding the unemployment/old age tax (NI) contributions is more aimed at wether this would cover any payments in the event of any illness during her employment. In the (hopefully) unlikely event of getting made unemployed she would simply come home.

She is really looking forward to the experience, particularly mixing and socialising with the multi-national people at her company and integrating in the local customs and living. My wife and I are also looking forward to plenty of visits too, initially flying then maybe later in the year a road trip possibly with a few diversions (obviously all depending on travel restrictions !!).
Ah I see, I can only speak in my case whereby I'm covered for 100% of salary for up to 2 years, this is under the 'KTG' scheme - KrankenTagGeld (sick leave insurance / Salary Continuation insurance). Its my understanding that the employer maybe has to contribute atleast 50% of the cost?, but some will cover the full 100%. The level of salary coverage is also variable....I think.

I'm sure someone more knowledgeable will put it right, if I'm wrong smile.

https://www.englishforum.ch/finance-banking-taxati...
Can’t add much more to this. I‘ve never had any issues with sick days where I work, but it‘s a massive employer. Per the above I know I‘m good for two years and after that a disability pension kicks in until retirement. Best course of action would be to check with your daughter‘s HR. I said earlier that termination without cause is quite normal in Switzerland, so is going on the sick to prolong your notice period.

monty999

Original Poster:

893 posts

72 months

Saturday 13th March
quotequote all
Thanks to both of you for your most valuable input. Obviously she will discover a lot more when she is in post but having a heads up on things before she gets there is a great start, Cheers both.


chris_gilmartin

26 posts

167 months

Sunday 14th March
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This popped up today, may be useful https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/living-and-working-in...

monty999

Original Poster:

893 posts

72 months

Saturday 29th May
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Hello again, just wondered if anyone could tell me if there has been any changes regarding lifting some Covid restrictions since I believe the Swiss government were meeting on May 26th to discuss possibilities, (particularly interested in any changes regarding travel in and out, any info gladly received. Thanks.

p.s. Daughter is now settled in after a month of living there and loves the place, can't wait to visit ourselves.

chris_gilmartin

26 posts

167 months

Sunday 30th May
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All the latest Federal information can be found here https://www.bag.admin.ch/bag/en/home/krankheiten/a...

Visitors from the UK have to quarantine on arrival for 10 days I think, this is because of the prevalence in the UK of variants of concern.



monty999

Original Poster:

893 posts

72 months

Sunday 30th May
quotequote all
chris_gilmartin said:
All the latest Federal information can be found here https://www.bag.admin.ch/bag/en/home/krankheiten/a...

Visitors from the UK have to quarantine on arrival for 10 days I think, this is because of the prevalence in the UK of variants of concern.
Thats a great link, thanks. Currently daughter is trying to arrange trips back home but as rules/goalposts keep changing it's very hard to plan anything, already had flights cancelled in July and September by Easyjet. Just have to keep an eye on the changing situation regarding us being on the list of risk countries. In the mean time she's learning what and where to buy stuff and found out what's expensive (meat !!) and where to shop. Sounds a great place to be stuck though and we can't wait to visit especially when she's in her swanky new pad by about October.
Cheers

chris_gilmartin

26 posts

167 months

Friday 4th June
quotequote all
I'm in the same boat, wanting to visit the UK to see family, for the moment it's possible but not very practical. Fingers crossed it won't be too long now before things start getting back to normal.

Yes, meat is expensive in Switzerland! Basel is very close to both France and Germany though, so cross-border shopping is an option...but don't break the customs limits....https://www.ezv.admin.ch/ezv/en/home/information-individuals/travel-and-purchases--allowances-and-duty-free-limit/importation-into-switzerland/duty-free-allowances--foodstuffs--alcohol-and-tobacco.html

Does your daughter drive? https://www.mobility.ch/en/ is a car sharing service, very handy if you happen to live near where the cars are located.

monty999

Original Poster:

893 posts

72 months

Friday 4th June
quotequote all
chris_gilmartin said:
I'm in the same boat, wanting to visit the UK to see family, for the moment it's possible but not very practical. Fingers crossed it won't be too long now before things start getting back to normal.

Yes, meat is expensive in Switzerland! Basel is very close to both France and Germany though, so cross-border shopping is an option...but don't break the customs limits....https://www.ezv.admin.ch/ezv/en/home/information-individuals/travel-and-purchases--allowances-and-duty-free-limit/importation-into-switzerland/duty-free-allowances--foodstuffs--alcohol-and-tobacco.html

Does your daughter drive? https://www.mobility.ch/en/ is a car sharing service, very handy if you happen to live near where the cars are located.
Funnily enough she is going to Germany after work on Monday or Tuesday with one of the other girls from work to do a bit of shopping as the supermarket is open until 2200hrs, it seems that this is the normal thing to do. Think they're going on the tram which they have a free pass for. At the moment she's in a temporary place opposite a lovely park (Kannenfeld I think), awaiting completion of a new apartment block which she has secured a pad in. All of the 'strange' rues in Switzerland seem to make perfect sense now that she lives there and my only reservation is that I can't see her wanting to come back home but as long as we can come and go as we please we can live with that. Let's hope !!