First tax declaration after moving to Switzerland from France


it’s time to start thinking about declaring income/paying taxes… Last year (mid-July) I’ve moved with my family to Switzerland (Vaud) from neighbouring France, but for the whole 2018 we were working with my wife in Switzerland (Vaud too). So far, we were paying our taxes in France, but now I’m not sure how we should proceed.

Does anybody know how I should declare my income and pay taxes for 2018? Should I declare part of the income and pay part of the tax in Switzerland and part in France?

As we cross 120k level, I guess we should do the full tax declaration, but if this year only part of the income will be considered, 120k will not be reached. Of course after moving to Switzerland our employers started to pay witholding tax from our salaries.

I hope someone had similar case before and still remembers how it was done…

Thanks in advance!

IIRC that’s how it worked for me. Paid taxes on French income from before I moved, paid taxes on Swiss income after the move (you might want to check the dual taxation treaty if it’s more complicated for you, e.g. you had Swiss income before moving).

Don’t know how it works in Vaud, but in Zurich the 120k limit is based on annualized income, so even if I had only one month of work in Switzerland the year of my move, I still had to do the full tax declaration for that year.

That said, at least in Zurich you don’t need to do anything proactively, they will just send you the forms at some point (took something like 2 years for me).

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Many thanks for your reply! Do you remember how did you divide your income? Did you take it from your payslips? Or maybe just took the numbers from salary certificate proportionally to the number of months you lived in each place?

My concern is that if I just declare part of my income in France and the other part in Switzerland, my tax rate will be lower in both places, which is always nice situation, but only if it this the right way…

I don’t remember too much for the French part, but for the swiss part I declared all my swiss income, and they pro-rated it to figure out the tax rate (so my tax rate was computed as if I had earned the same income during the whole year as the one month I was in Switzerland).

(I assume the french part is similar).

You probably also have to tell the french tax authority that you left the country btw, seems to have details.

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Hello again,

just to properly understand this - after you moved you have done the tax declaration by yourself or you just waited for about 2 years until you got anything from tax authorities?

I waited for them to send the form (might depends on cantons, maybe give a call to your tax office if you’re unsure). I think in Zurich if you ask them they can send the form earlier, but why bother?

Also maybe Bern has a smaller backlog and it doesn’t take as long anyway, but the gist of it is that if you’re taxed at source, they know about you and whether you’re above the 120k threshold, so pretty sure they won’t forget about you :slight_smile:

Perfect, many thanks again! If someone has other experience, especially in Vaud, please let me know.