Military Service Exemption Tax

Anyone affected by this? Would love to read your take on this.

I got my Swiss citizenship in 2015 and expected to pay it till 2021, but the law changed in 2018. Previously you had to pay till you are 30, now they want 11 years or till you are 37 (whatever comes first).

2015: New citizenship (counts as first year)
2016: 765.-
2017: 1’137.-
2018: 1’602.-
2019: 1’644.-
2020: 2’085.-
2021: ~1’650.-
2022: ~2’200.-
2023: ~2’300.-
2024: ~2’400.-
2025: ~3’000.-

2021-2025 is an estimate, but it will be close to 20k in total. I think it was a very wise decision as I didn’t waste 10 months of my life this way.


I’ve done my long services (10 months) from October 2013 and August 2014. I was a « security soldier for military airport ». It was a waste of time, but it was also a fun time to learn how to use some weapon and how the organisation was made, especially when I was in the IFO 2 where I was working with real professional of a military airport :slight_smile:

At least I managed to earned ~15k CHF between my bachelor and my master.


I paid only till 30 and when the law changed, I would have had still to pay a few more years but luckily they decided not to enrol people again who already stopped paying. So I’m done with it.

I neither went to military nor civil protection services and therefore had to pay the full exemption tax but still I think it was worth it because doing any of it would be one of the most stupid, immoral and idiotic things I would have ever done, so I’d rather pay than doing it.

What my take is on it? This is one of the worst side of this tyranny and an absolute cheek. The change of law is just again to steal more money from people because they noticed that in earlier ages people earn less money so it’s better to pay little bit later on until 37, especially for University graduates who usually postpone services and then would have to serve only a few more years until 30 and now with 37 they will even have much higher salaries to tax.

It’s frustration, but luckily I’m done with all of it.

We should get rid of this tax and the whole compulsory military services. There is no moral justification for collecting such a tax and neither for forcing people into something as stupid as military service. Military service should be for those who want and apply for it, or even better abolished entirely as it’s a complete waste of tax money.


You’re the first that I hear about. Everyone of my friends that were 30-37 received it again and are still paying it.

I also only paid until 30. Currently 35 and haven’t heard anything from them.

EDIT: This could explain it which is my case. «Wer wie früher die Rekrutierung freiwillig im 19. Lebensjahr absolviert und als untauglich erklärt wird, bezahlt seine elf Ersatzabgaben vom 20. bis und mit dem 30. Lebensjahr», erklärt Weibel.

Did you pay for 10 years or less?

Should I do anything? The law changed after I got my passport and before I was 30.

In my case I was already 30 and stopped paying when the new regulation came into power, but I didn’t pay 11 years because I postponed my service as long as it was possible and only then told them that I will not do anything like that at all.

I was worried at the time too that I will have to pay again but then found an FAQ that said that people who stopped paying at 30 according to the old law before the new law came into power will not be enrolled again into the paying scheme. Unfortunately I don’t find it anymore because it’s not relevant anymore they probably took it down.

In the case you linked the guy became naturalised at 29 after the law came into power so he will have to pay until 37. But people who stopped paying at 30 before the new law came into power should not be enrolled again but I don’t know if there is a cantonal difference.

Some cantons seem to mentioned special handling for “Ersatzpflicht für «Schweizer mit erworbenem Bürgerrecht»”:

Schweizer mit erworbenem Bürgerrecht, welche mit dem bisherigen Recht noch nicht 11 Ersatzabgaben zur Erfüllung der gesamten Militärdienstpflicht bezahlt ha- ben, werden mit dem neuen Recht wieder ersatzpflichtig, bis sie gesamthaft 11 Er- satzabgaben geleistet haben (längstens jedoch bis zum 37. Altersjahr). Es betrifft dies die Jahrgänge 1981 bis 1987.

So maybe there is a different handling for people who became Swiss citizens? Which would be a very questionable practice but hey, it’s the government, they can do what they want.

I think this is one of the things you really shouldn’t waste energy trying to argue with the authorities. You are just one of the unlucky ones which are affected of the change.

I was recruited for civil defense service with 19 and paid my 11 years till the year I had my 30st birthday.

Paying the tax was damn annoying but in retrospect it wasn’t that bad, because it mainly concerned years where I did not earn that much and also while I studied for my bachelors. I made around 650k net over 11 years (59k p.a. on average), after deductions I probably paid around 16k Ersatzabgaben total to the tax man. It was only really the last two years with income >100k that were quite expensive.

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Been in Switzerland for almost 30 years (I came as a little kid), didn’t want to have a CH-citizenship because I loathed the idea of having to do that freaking exam as someone who was about to finish the Gymi. Moved to go to uni, so the time needed as a resident reset. Then my country joined the EU, so now I have a EU passport. There are really no perks getting the Swiss passport (apart from voting). Now I’m waiting until im 37 and married to my girlfriend to maybe get the passport, so I don’t waste money on the military. Had I done an apprenticeship I probably would’ve gotten the swiss citizenship then. But now that I have a masters and work in highly specialized field nobody cares about my citizenship status anymore.

EDIT: Re-reading what I wrote, I went on a little off-topic tangent there, sorry about that.

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Cortana, if you had the C permit before, the question from a mustachian point of view is even: why getting Swiss citizenship before 30/now 37

Just my 2 cents (20k opportunity cost is heavy for voting rights imo)

Initially I planned on waiting till 30. But with my Eastern European passport I was limited in travelling. In 2013 me and my best friend were going to London for a week and my visa request was declined. That’s the moment I said “Fuck it, don’t want to be treated like that anymore”.

As I recently said in my annual spending post, I paid 1155 Francs last year. Luckily, this was the 11th and last time. I can‘t really remember how much it was the years before (will look up the last few years this evening).
Whenever the bill came, it at least made me feel good about my shitty PhD salary. On the bright side, this tax doesn’t go to the military directly, it just goes to the general budget of the government.

Edit: Here are the Data from the last couple of years:

2021: 1155
2020: 990
2019: 996
2016-2018 was probably also around 1k a year.
2011-2015 was the minimum (first 200, then it was changed to 400)

In total, this makes around 8-9k. Seems like I got away cheap :sweat_smile:

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I am also going to pay a big tax on this.

I only got Swiss nationality at 26 which is actually the worst year to get it… Now I am stuck from 26 to 37 (high earning years for me) paying 3% of taxable income to the military.

I estimate that my total tax burden will be >CHF60k assuming I would have invested the extra money otherwise. I wouldn’t be surprised if I am >CHF100k worse off at 37 because of it.

Ultimately I decided it was worth it to enable me to leave the country if I choose to. C-permit is good but if I wanted to work abroad for >4 years I may lose the right to return. Also I have lived here a while and felt I should get it… Was not an easy decision to make given this extra burden on young Swiss men.

All these extra taxes really eat into my savings rate these days. Earning a decent salary as a single in Suisse Romande already incurs a huge tax bill. Once you add on military tax, student loans, and the high cost of living there isn’t so much remaining!

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I for myself decided to rather do my required 245 military days as a soldier than pay 3% of my net salary each year for 10 or 11 years. Yes the 18 week basic service was shit but I’m now a Simulation Operator, I can plan my refresher courses more or less by myself and can even send them dates where I’m unavailable and they will only call me in on the dates where I’m available. On top of that I only have to go into the refresher courses with minimal gear and the food and accomodation is awesome since there are mostly high ranking officers. Plus I’m earning the same as if I was working.


Soldier here. Nice to see, that some people in this thread are on the same page :slight_smile:
I cannot plan the refresher course, but I also do not have a problem with that - it’s like additional holidays from work, where I can rest from the mental point of view :smiley:

Beside the financial topic (e.g. healthcare insurance taken over, given clothing, given accomodation, given food… basically no expenses with continued income) you are able to do things, which you probably cannot do in the normal civil life. And you meet people which you never would under normal circumstances.

It was a really awesome time and would do it always a second time, despite some harsh times.

Sorry for off topic :slight_smile:


And that’s what you think we should spend tax money for?

Sounds like a Club Med with all-inclusive holidays where hobby-rambos gather to play around with guns, and also real-life losers with inferiority complex finally get to say something and boss around kids for fun at least once in a lifetime, for a few weeks. After that everybody goes back home and complains about pointless waste of tax money, bureaucracy and officialdom, and environmental pollution.

First thing where we can start saving money as a society and address issues of environmental protection (no need for jets, helicopters, etc.).

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Yeah, it’s more about spending some time in our life where we learn to put our wants on the backstage to reach group targets, learn combat tactics, a few equipment/weapons/ammunition locations and build a network of people who are trained like us and are more ready to fight off government in case it turns tyrannical, and people of all social backgrounds getting to spend time together without social status display (we all carry the same uniform), allowing for people to build a useful network with people they would probably not have met otherwise.

It sounds like a fundamental basis for a working democracy to me, not accounting for the fact that since the army is you and me (well, me and people like you, not you yourself, obviously, you’d have to acknowledge there’s value in sacrifice, I know that’s difficult, which is one more reason why military/civil service is a useful character building experience), it’s less likely that the army as a whole would support a corrupt governement so overthrowing it would be easier as a result.

Sorry for the offtopic too.


I am with you, but the reality looks different.
Based on the thread I wanted to point out, that under some circumstances it can make sense to do the military services. It is like calculating, if renting a property makes more sense than buying one - it really depends in each case.

If you cannot identify yourself with the military service or with the civil services, this is another question. If you want to opt out you are allowed to do so - but with a harsh penalty.

Therefore I can completely understand the pain of the newly (?) prolonged payment and searching for a solution (like the thread starter).

Could this be a possible solution to avoid this tax? :smiley:


It is and I was thinking about it.

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