Geneva tax deduction - work in another canton - last year B permit

Hi MP, would be grateful to have your opinion

2020 was the last year I had B permit with tax at source. In the previous years I only deducted the 3rd pillar purchase.

The situation in 2020 was a bit special because I have been working at another canton the whole year. 1. I sub-rented a room in that canton from Jan to April, without registering my address to the authority, continued using the Geneva address 2. Airbnb cost, when I went to work in the office for a few weeks in summer. 3. I paid for a few train tickets between Geneva and my work place

Does anyone know if these 3 costs could be deducted from tax basis? which one(s)?

I always had the idea that by entering the “real cost”, you may be losing or gaining on tax compared to the exisitng forfait, which was already taken into account when we are taxed at source this is why I never tried to deduct anything else from tax basis except the 3rd pillar in all my previous years.

I was in a similar situation. Look at page 28 of this document to see the deductions for tax declarers

For Geneva cantonal tax purposes you can deduct max 500 fr/yr for travel costs, 500fr rent/m and 15fr / day evening meals

Deduction for travel costs used to be 3000fr/yr but it got lowered in a popular vote a couple of years ago


thanks a lot Barto, I will read it. would be grateful if you could reply the following quesitons:

  1. seems like the only deductions I can make on top of the 3a are fees linked to the fact that I worked in a different canton?
  2. I hope it was not an issue that for the 4 months I sub-rented in another canton, I haven’t declared this to any authority or my employer, and I didn’t have any sub rental contract, I just paid a guy via Ebanking each month :slight_smile:
  3. I assume even for these costs, I have to provide proof for every single item?

I need to clarify that I am a tax declarer and am not sure how it works with tax at source.

The tax authorities asked me for a rental contract which I had, but if you have at least an email or Airbnb confirmation and can show the bank transfer they might accept it

I Don’t see any issue with your employer or authorities due to sub renting a room.

In your tax declaration there are other deductions allowed depending on your circumstances. The document above lists them but is very long. FYI the year I changed from tax at source to tax declaration my taxes increased but that was without any travel or major deductions available to me

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First Thanks a lot for your reply Barto. 3 comments:

Yes I got that, and this is one of the reasons why I continue my questions :slight_smile: Logically I think for tax deduction it should work the same way for at source or declarer? I hope things are logical…

the Airbnb one should be easy. But for the subrental one I settled the deal via Whatsapp, the only proof is regular banking transfer to a private person.

My concern is not about the sub-renting, but about the fact that I haven’t declared this to authority and employer

Let me try to help, I also work in a different canton, but submit a declaration.

  1. you can deduct the costs of the sublet, you do not need to move the address or declare earlier. You could have been staying in the hotel also, you just need to be able to prove the expense.
  2. For transport, there is a cantonal limit of 500 Fr / year. you can simply deduct this without much proof, as anyway even within canton transport pass is higher than this. If your trip is higher than 2 hours you can deduct more, but since you already rent there during the week, they would not accept additional costs.
  3. for the time you spent out of your home canton to work, you can deduct 30fr/day meal costs. (double the normal daily rate as dinners also counted) There is a cantonal limit of 3000 fr/year. note that you cannot deduct meal expense for the time you worked from home.

In any case, I suggest you run the math in online calculator before asking to submit a declaration. General experience is that tax at source calculation is done a way to discourage the declarations. So you might end up paying more than tax at source even if you think you have a lot to deduct. Tax at source already assumes certain percentage deductible.


Hi, this would apply to me. Do you mean you can deduct higher travel costs than 500fr in Geneva? In GeTax it only lets me deduct 500fr for cantonal tax but more for Federal tax

Thanks a lot sammiz, very rich information in your post. Just 2 comments

This is very important info! This is why I never included any element except the 3rd pillar purchase in my previous years of “request of tax deduction(at source )” ( demande rectification de l’impôt à la source) even I wasn’t sure it was the right decision.

I will do the online calculator. It seems that even last year I worked at a different canton, the situation(whether to include these accomodation and traffic cost) is still the same?

I lived in the other canton for the first 4 months without having declared anything. similarly for the 2 weeks in summer. I almost never travelled back to Geneva for weekend. From May I was back to Geneva because of home office.

More likely than not it was the right decision, as @sammiz said usually the taxation at source is more advantageous unless you can claim very high additional deductions (e.g. child care).
You can find the full list of implicit lump-sum deductions for the taxation at source on the canton’s website here.

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Thanks a lot. I already did my calculation but not sure whether it’s better to mention the cost related to working in another canton, here is my calcualtion

Revenue before tax = 86900 + 450 (under item 7: Andere Leistungen/Autres prestations - home office Indemnity, taxable?) = 87350 CHF

Tax already deducted @ source = 12396 CHF

I bought 3A pillar with 6826 CHF

I am single without child and under the bareme A0 having the highest tax rate

the cost related to working in another canton: room: 2000 CHF+550 CHF airbnb + train ticket <200 CHF =total: < 2750 CHF

I haven’t found an easy online calculator, so I calculated with “Barèmes 2020
impôt à la source” and I haven’t included the above 2750 CHF fee

it seems my tax basis is 87350 - 6826 =80524, and the tax rate matching it is 13.56% (it seems it already include federal tax and ICC), tax to pay= 10,919 CHF

so they should give me back 12,396 - 10,919 = 1477 CHF.

Could anybody reply me if it is better to mention the 2750 CHF fee related to working in another canton? I would be grateful. Thanks a lot

“Barèmes 2020 impôt à la source” link

@sammiz @Barto

With few exceptions (like 3rd pillar) you can’t pick and choose which deductions you want to claim separately and which one you want deducted on the basis of the implicit lump sum deductions already accounted for within the tax at source.
Only if you think the sum of all the actual deductions you’d get with a standard declaration is higher than the sum of all the implicit deductions you should fill a full declaration.

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Thanks, yes I got that.
do you know if it better to input the 2750 CHF info in my case? :blush:

I can’t know, it depends on everything else, you need to run your numbers.

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Could you clarify your concern about the 2750? Geneva are unlikely to debate that you were resident here or refuse to tax you if that is what you mean. The problem would be with the tax authorities i the other canto but unlikely

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While it’s a bit shady if they moved full time for a few months without (de)registering, tax wise there’s no split between cantons, iirc what matters if the place where you live on Dec 31st (which as I understand was truly where they were registered).

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I’m saying that financially there’re good chances that it doesn’t make sense to ask for this deduction, because to get that 2750 CHF deduction you’ll need to give up all the other deductions automatically included in the tax at source calculation.
To be sure you need to check all the other numbers (health insurance, 2nd pillar, …)

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sorry I am not sure what you are talking about, it was just to know if it makes sense to put the 2750CHF number is or not, they are the cost generated by working at a different canton

Thanks, I got that, sorry I was replying to @Barto and for unknown reason your reply was also quoted. I just deleted that post to not cause confusion. For health insurance I paid 4400 CHF for 2020, not sure why the 2nd pillar is also relevant here, is it fully deductible from tax basis?

Last try

This is already eating away all the advantage you’d get by declaring your 2750 work-related expenses:

At source Declaration
Work expenses 1697 2750
Health insurance 5777 4400
2nd pillar … …
… … …
Total deduction 7474 7150

So at the moment it looks that it doesn’t make sense to fill a full declaration.
As I said you need to consider all the possible deductions (add as many lines as you need in the table) and fill in your numbers in each column if you want to be sure.
The relevant cantonal documents listing deductions for both columns were linked above.


Hey, thanks a lot. I think I have finally understood the big picture of this complicated tax system. As you have been a patient teacher, let me be a good student with my summary for other people and calculation

What I have understood from this thread of discussion(feel free to correct me if I am wrong):

The “bareme” which I have linked above only applies to tax at source, and in this case the tax authority has already included a lumpsum-ish implicit deductions from the tax basis, we can still choose to enter our real cost including costs related to working in a different canton (accomodation fee there, transport, meals) but if we choose to do so, we will have to give up the lumpsum deductions completely: it’s either all or nothing, we can’t choose by deduction items

so below is my comparison, a small question is how do people justify the costs (to deduct from tax basis) of UI(chomage), maternity, accident insurances? do they have to provide their salary slips? As in my case these 3 numbers don’t seem to appear on the “certificat de salaire”

implicit rate Basis implicit deductions real costs
AVS 0.05275 87350 4607.7125 6149
UI/chomage 0.011 960.85 897.6
2nd pillar 0.055 4804.25 2678
maternity 0.00046 40.181
accident 0.013 1135.55 571.4
frais pro 0.03 75801.4565 1697 2750(subrental room: 2000 CHF+550 CHF airbnb + train ticket <200 CHF)
maladie 5777 4400
sum 19022.5435 17446

so the conclusion for my “request of tax deduction(at source )” ( demande rectification de l’impôt à la source) seems to be: I should only input the 3rd pillar purchase and not mention any number listed above :slight_smile: even that I could increase the 2750 CHF by adding fees about meals, increasing the transport to 500 CHF as people mentioned above, add another 280 CHF medical cost but I will get very limited potential tax savings and also take the risks that one of these fees are not agreed by the tax authority, so better to just take the given lumpsum.

Hope it helps for anyone having the same question in the future

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