Tax deduction for transport to work

Hello there!

I am currently changing jobs and am looking at the price of public transport. A monthly fee would cost me 271 CHF, which is really lot for 30km. Using my car would actually be cheaper.

However, as you can deduct the cost of public transport from your taxes, it may be okay.

My question is - how much do I actually get back in the end? Is it the full price of the monthly/yearly tickets, or just some part? My income is ca. 95,000CHF in Kanton Zurich.

You won’t get back what you declare as deductions, instead they reduce your taxable income by the full amount of the deduction and you’ll pay less taxes due to a lower taxable income.

As a side note, tax offices often refuse deductions for transport by car as they are more expensive most of the time with their calculations. They often only allow it if you have really bad train connections and would save a lot of time by driving by car vs. public transport.


Thank you!

Yes I know about the car deduction.

Unfortunately it still seems like I would save more money by just using my car.

Will have to consider it, I really love using the public transport here.

I’m not quiet sure whether this is legal, but I would continue using the car and just add the amount that you would pay for public transport if you would use it. They don’t ask for a receipt. Maybe someone else here on the forum knows more or you could also ask the accountant from the tax office that is responsible for your declaration, they are often very nice people.

While this doesn’t apply to the current situation (Zürich), I find it useful to add that “really bad train connections” apply differently from canton to canton and that I’ve had no problem whatsoever to deduct car transportation costs in the canton Valais/Wallis, even in the same town, for example.

In Aargau (and Zurich as far I remember), it is how they want it. If you use the car, it is the cost of the yearly abo except if you have a bad connection (I think it is adding a certain amount of time to the public transit time, like 45 minutes), where you can use a km price (0.8 CHF/km if I am not mistaken, using a certain software to calculate distances).

You can deduct your car by km at 0.7 if it saves e.g. an hour one-way. Otherwise, the cost of a monthly ticket times 12 (which is higher than an annual ticket).

Either way, it’s capped at 5000 for ZH and 3200 for federal tax.

You could go by car or work from home and still deduct monthly ticket times 12.

source:Wegleitung zur Steuererklärung 2023 page 15

edit: Don’t forget to claim 700 for your bike maintenance cost


Ah! I read the detailed instructions and tips somewhere else and my understanding was that you can ONLY deduct the car when public transport takes 1h or longer than a car OR when the nearest station is over 1km or something like that.

In your source it is pretty clear that one can use the car whenever and deduct the monthly ticket , that is awesome!


Exactly. They assume that the car deduction is higher, therefore it’s restricted and needs to be justified.

Public transport is the default option, no questions asked. And there was a court ruling that you combine it with the bike deduction.

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Can you really simply deduct a monthly ticket, no matter how you actually go to work and how often?

What happens if you get audited and can they then ask for receipts and you are fucked?

Yes, they won’t ask.
You could even use the slightly higher 2024 prices from SBB website for 2023 if you can’t find your monthly tickets from last year any more :wink:

Please note this for ZH and assuming you don’t live next door or have a company car.
Even then, worst case is they remove your deduction and then it’s your turn to complain or not.

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I live in ZH, but a smaller Gemeinde a bit outside city and not city itself. Does this change anything, or are those the same tax people?

No, it doesn’t.
Rules and processing are done on Kanton-level.


My gf works in the same gemeinde as we live. It’s like a 20/25min walk. Obviously she doesn’t go by public transportation because it takes like 15 min total. Sometimes she does take a shuttle bus that the company offers to the nearest train station.

In this scenario will she have any issues claiming the deduction for the PT abo?

Also where does one add those bike maintenance costs? Can it just be added with no justification like the PT costs?

There is a field for this in the salary certificate. And if it is ticked, I guess you cannot claim public transportation deductions. On the other hand, you say it is only from the train station…

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Just try, unless the section F is marked for “unentgeltliche Beförderung” in the German version. I only know this one from company cars.

Bike is just below the abo in the section berufsbedingte Fahrtkosten.



Public transport is the default option, no questions asked. And there was a court ruling that you combine it with the bike deduction.

A nice article on the topic, containing a link to the court ruling (I think) you are referring to: Deductions for bicycles and public transport


So in conclusion, deducting both:

  • 700chf for the bike (maintenance)
  • 12x monthly pass (e.g. 51chf for a single zone)

are (should be) accepted by ZH tax office?

I think I did the same past year, need to check my report.