Hi, has anyone worked with either of these 2 companies for them to do your personal income tax return? It would be even better if you have a significant percentage of assets in stocks and received dividends from non-Swiss companies.
Just make sure it’s not just a trick to sell you bad investments (maybe ask how much your employer pays for the service, from what @Guillaume_GVA says wouldn’t be surprised if it’s just a way to sell life insurances…)
I’d pick none of them, it seems very fishy, I’d complain to your employer for being intransparent.
It’s not a benefit your employer is giving you, just “selling” you to those company so they can sell juicy life insurance contracts.
(If this was a real benefit, it would be with a proper tax advisor, and then it would show up in your salary statement like any in-kind benefit, I bet that’s not the case here).
My best guess would be that it is exactly what it is about. Filling out your tax return they will ask you to provide them all the insurance premiums and 3rd pillar you paid. They will then sell you products to “fill the gaps”. Stay away.
For clarity, I only asked a few colleagues who had contact with both Company A and Company B for their preference, as Company B was only introduced last year, only 1 colleague mentioned that he chose Company A over B because B tried to sell additional services, but he seems to be satisfied with Company A.
Of the 4-5 people I asked, one Swiss colleague uses neither because he uses a family friend to do his taxes, and the other colleagues (expats and our Swiss HR) seem more or less satisfied/OK with the company they chose, whether it’s A or B.
The reason I’m struggling to make a decision is that I don’t feel very confident with either of them because of something they said below:
Company A guy talks in English for banal communication but when I showed him my broker account webpage to find the approppiete certificate, suddenly his English seems to struggle and even needs the webpage to be in French (I speak French). I mentioned to him that last year my parents sent me about 150k CHF from (outside EU, non US) which I invested in stocks. He advises me to get advice from a lawyer to make sure there is no tax to pay in Switzerland. I was very surprised because shouldn’t he be the tax expert? And I don’t think I have to pay any Swiss taxes on it, except for the wealth tax.
For company B, I live in Switzerland and I received dividends last year from Swiss, German and US companies, there was a withholding tax already deducted (between the full amount and the amount I received on my broker account), the guy told me that Switzerland will only take into account 15% of the “withholding tax” that was already deducted to determine my tax base. I don’t understand why not the 100% and where this random 15% comes from. So I googled “15% dividend stocks tax switzerland” and it seems it’s with France or for a US citizen (I’m not). This has put some doubt on his expertise. Please correct me if I am wrong and have misunderstood him.
they asked our tax ID number to fill it online for us
I joined Switzerland 2 years ago and managed to self declare my taxes autonomously with the help of this forum.
The most time consuming for me is collecting all the documents and computing my euro dividends in chf.
The software on French canton is quite easy to use.
I make my declaration reviewed by a fiduciary for half the cost in order to be more confident. He found only few adjustments.
It is a good exercise and you are allowed to make mistake.
Tax officer will ask you more info or adjust it.
I am also very suspicious of Assential’s Google review, they have 142 reviews with an average of 5 stars? even the worst review was 4 stars, how is that possible? Even some of the excellent shops/restaurants I know get negative reviews, it’s almost inevitable when you have more than 50 reviews. There’s always someone who doesn’t like something.
As others already mentioned, the most time consuming part is gathering all the documents, which the expert won’t do for you anyway.
It might take some more time the first time you do it, but the following years it will be way faster. The tax software of the cantons are pretty straightforward nowadays and there’s a lot of guidance in there as well.
I never understood why people use tax advisors for simple personal income taxes. They don’t have any magic tricks that save you 1000s in taxes, most of the time you’ll pay even more for the consultant than they save you. It might be a good exercise to have it done one time by an expert and the next year you just copy/paste. And as it seems, these two companies don’t seem to be experts in tax matters anyway…
Non-recuperable foreign withholding tax from many countries can be offset against your Swiss income tax by using form DA-1 - and that’s 15 percent(age points) for most eligible dividends.
Also, „Si le montant total des impôts étrangers non récupérables (col. 8) n’excède pas 100 francs, l’imputation n’est pas accordée. Dans ce cas, on portera les revenus, diminués de l’impôt étranger non récupérable, dans l’état des titres ordinaire“