Not married partners with a child: how can I optimize my Tax deductions?

Hello to all,

I have few questions about how I could optmize my tax situation now:


  • Canton Basel Stadt
  • Not married but living together
  • 1 kid of 1 year old
  • My partner is unemployed with receiving around 70k CHF a year (before taxes)
  • My salary is much higher than my partners and we contribute our full salaries into the joint account
  • Child goes to kita a we spend around 18k CHF a year

My taxes are much higher than my wife’s and despite I contribute more to the expenses (childcare, 3rd Pilars) I cannot increase my deductions since we have a joint custody of 50%

Question: Is there a way that I can say I am donating part of my wealth to the family and claim a higher % of the deductions?

Getting married may solve this, but I am looking for alternatives.



Just to understand better, that’s unemployment benefits?
My partner was on unpaid leave, so the income difference was probably even bigger than in your case. The one year (income < 18k) I could make “Abzug für unterstützten Konk. Partner mit Kinder” (18k - her income).
Came off my income, and on to hers.

Due to income disparity later (she was back working), I wrote a note saying I am paying all the Kita due to this, and I deducted it all, and her nothing.
This was accepted.

Careful that if you “give” her money or pay everything that they don’t have reason to see this as you giving her money, as this could be a gift and she would have to pay gift-tax on it.
Paying all the rent is reasonable, but when you start paying her 3a, this is “giving” her money.

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just to understand better, that’s unemployment benefits?


I will try to do the same to do the same like you propossed for the KITA.
For the Pilar 3a, we have a commont account so it’s difficult to determine that I have paid 70% of it.

Thanks for the tips!
Any other tip are welcome!

Could you please clarify? I thought 3a should be only available in the form of individual accounts

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Hi, sorry I thought I had answered to your question.
I meant that we have each of us individuals 3a but that we fill this account with common money.

Hi again, I just got the answer of my partner’s taxes for 2021 and I got these comments from them.
I paste the answer in german and then translation into english using chatgpt. It shays the person with the highest income can deduct the child cost… I am lost, I thought this was not possible…

Ziffer 500: Berufskosten pauschal: Ziffern 503 und 504 gewährt da höhere Abzüge.
Ziffer 504: Mehrkosten für auswärtige Verpflegung: Abzug auf den Zeitraum der effektiven Erwerbstätigkeit anteilsmässig gekürzt (90 %-Stelle).
Ziffer 799: Vorbehalt gemeinsames Kindsverhältnis: Die Abzüge (z.B. Kinder-, Unterstützungs-, Versicherungsabzüge, Alimente) und der Tarif, welche im Zusammenhang mit gemeinsamen Kindsverhältnissen gewährt werden, stehen unter dem Vorbehalt des Eintritts der Rechtskraft der Veranlagung des anderen Elternteils. Abzüge und Tarife können grundsätzlich nicht kumuliert werden.
Ziffer 892: Freibetrag minderjährige Kinder: Der Abzug beträgt CHF 15’000.-- je minderjähriges Kind. Bei geteilter Sorge wird dieser Abzug nicht gesplittet, sondern fällt demjenigen Elternteil zu, welcher zur Hauptsache für den Unterhalt des Kindes aufkommt, grundsätzlich ist dies die Person mit dem höheren Einkommen

Number 500: Lump sum professional expenses: Numbers 503 and 504 provide higher deductions.
Number 504: Additional costs for meals while away from home: Deductions are proportionally reduced to the actual period of employment (90% position).
Number 799: Reservation of joint custody: Deductions (e.g. child support, insurance, alimony) and rates granted in connection with joint custody are subject to the condition of the other parent’s tax assessment becoming final. Deductions and rates cannot be combined in principle.
Number 892: Allowance for minor children: The deduction is CHF 15,000 per minor child. In the case of shared custody, this deduction is not split, but is granted to the parent who primarily supports the child, usually the person with the higher income.

Can you fill up a 3a account of an unemployed person ?
I thought it was reserved for emoployed/self-employed

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It only concerns “free allowance”, i.e. a certain automatic deduction from the taxable income, not your effective (actual) costs. For effective costs, the declaration should be somehow compared to the declaration of another parent, because these deductions for two parents declaring separately cannot exceed an amount for a single household with two parents.

However it would be interesting to see how they will deduct effective costs. If it really depends on who have actually paid them, a parent with a higher income should take over paying childcare costs (probably also depends on the name on the bill).

I never heard you could not contribute to your 3a…

Unemployment benefits are also considered income with regards to AHV and thus, you can contribute to 3a as long as you receive the benefits. You can’t contribute to pillar 3a if you have no income at all, according to AHV.

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