"Net Salary" Calculation

Hi All,

I just recently joined this fantastic community, so hello to everyone!

I will soon be moving back to Switzerland for a new job, and I’m having kind of a hard time figuring out my “take-home” salary. So far I’ve been living in countries where taxes are directly deducted from salary, so the Swiss system seems really overly complicated to me right now :slight_smile:

My understanding is as follows:

  1. I will be making c. 10’400 per month, from which c. 16.5% will be deducted (AHV, SUVA, Pillar 2a, Risk insurance). This leaves me with approximately 8’950 in pocket…as in, actual money that flows in my bank account every month.
  2. At the end of the year I will need to pay approximately 1.5 months worth of salary in taxes (10’400*1.5 = 15’600).
  3. I should therefore set aside c. 1’300 per month for taxes (15’600/12 = 1’300).
  4. As a result, my “take-home” pay is c. 7’650 (8’950-1’300).

Is this logic correct, or am I missing something?

Thank you all in advance for your help, really appreciate it!


Welcome to the forum!

Not necessarily. First, tax at source should roughly match the actual final taxes you’d pay. Most importantly it doesn’t account for the differences in municipal taxes within canton - in an expensive municipality like Stadt Zürich you’d owe some more, in a cheaper one you’d get some back.

In ZH, you’d need to file tax declaration, latest deadline is by November next year, then they’ll take several years to process it. (I just got a couple of weeks ago my bill for 2014 taxes.) Only then you’ll need to pay anything. Both early(credit) and late(debit) Interest is 0% on federal taxes and only 0.5% on local ZH taxes, so it’s cheaper money than any mortgage


Hi hedgehog,

Thank you for your swift reply.

I should specify that I’m a Swiss citizen (although I’ve never worked in Switzerland before), so I wouldn’t have any withholding tax and would instead have to file at the end of the year, correct?


In that case, yes, there will be no withholding taxes. Just social security payments (5.125% for employee portion of AHV, pension fund, etc) will get deducted

For taxes, you’ll get each year provisional bills from your local tax office with a suggested prepayment, based on your last year’s tax declaration or what you voluntarily tell them about your incomr. In most cantons you can ignore them until you’ve filed declaration and they processed it and sent you the final bill. The only penalty/reward for paying early is just interest, but it’s really low as I mentioned, cheaper than any mortgage. You can prepay any amount you want, however if it’s much above what they deem is plausible for your situation, they might refund it right away, 0.5% is also more than any bank savings account pays.

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Great, I didn’t know about the provisional bills, that will definitely be helpful to better understand how much I owe.
Do you think that provisionally, for budgeting purposes I can keep a 1’300 figure for taxes (1.5 months of salary)? Or is this figure off, just as an indication, considering that I am single, no family, no children?

Thank you again so much for your help!

Use a tax calculator, such as https://www.comparis.ch/steuern/steuervergleich/default

Note that it uses as input taxable income, i.e. gross income minus all possible tax deductions. A lot of things are tax deductible: AHV, pension fund payments, some amounts for health insurance, travel, work education expenses, etc. You can go through the tax form to see what you could deduct. As an absolute upper bound you can try to calculate taxes with just gross income, as in reality taxable income will be maybe 10-30% lower

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as @hedgehog wrote you can use the “tax at source” tables as an example to make a raw estimate about how much you should monthly set apart.
If you want to do a better estimate you can download the taxes software of your Canton and put some real numbers inside -> it will calculate the taxes you’ll have to pay (federal, cantonal, communal).
If you keep some safety cushion (which should be doable, given your income, family status and considered you’re on a “mustachian” forum…:wink:) you can go with your 1.5 months budgeting without losing too much time and integrate later with a couple of grands when you receive tax decision if necessary…)

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Thank you both so much for your insight!
I hadn’t noticed that comparis has a tax calculator, I’d been using the ETHZ and Neuvoo ones, which were fairly confusing because of how the break down the tax burden.

I will definitely check out the official software, as it will probably give me a more precise indication.

Thank you again for your help!