Taxes + B permit + Quellensteuer + accumulated interest

Hi All,

I’ve done taxes declaration myself, in order to learn and understand overall Swiss taxation. Seems I missed some part…
I have B permit and I am taxed at source (quellensteuer), however % charged seems does not cover full taxes bill for 2017/2018, which surprisingly is delivered only now with accrued interest.
Am I right that lesson here is - I need to estimate myself how much I am underpaying taxes (provisorisch taxes - quellensteuer) and pay this in advance? Even the numbers might not be accurate and I might still be underpaying/overpaying?

Seems rather counter intuitive logic or I am missing something here?

Ps. good thing accrued interest is lower than what I would have paid tax advisor, frugalism wins:)


(that’s only true for some people, e.g. high earners > 120k)

Yes that’s how it works (at least for ZH). The main part is that, tax at source is based on cantonal average for the municipality tax, and they can vary a lot, e.g. for Zurich canton you’d almost always expect to pay extra on top of tax at source if you live in Zurich city.

The other thing is that if the income varies a lot month to month, there might be some inaccuracies since marginal tax rate will be incorrect.

When I was still taxed at source, I’d usually pay the difference after filing my taxes and computed what the delta is (actually I would even pay a bit more, you used to get 0.5% interest on that money which was more than most savings account :slight_smile: )

(but as you noticed it should be a fairly small sum in terms of interest, I guess you’d owe <10k and the interests on that wouldn’t be very high)

This is also my concern. I live in VD, for the first time I’ve sent the declaration last year (for 2018, still haven’t received the calculation from the authorities). In VaudTax declaration, I didn’t find any form field to put already paid taxes by the employer, so I end up my declaration with full amount at the end. However, I didn’t pay anything after sending the declaration, as I wanted to wait for the reply. I assume it may be wrong…

Your lohnausweis should tell you how much tax was paid, and I assume Vaud has an online calculator to figure out your tax owed. From that you can figure out the difference, and if you want can ask the tax authority to get a payment slip and prepay the difference.

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I got the bill for the Kanton & Gemeinde Tax for 2017 a few days ago. It said I paid 23k but according to my tax declaration I should have paid 26k. So I had to pay 3k. I checked my Lohnausweis and there was 29k paid. But I think amount includes also Bundessteuer maybe? I was not able to check if these numbers are correct…

IIRC tax at source is first used to pay Bundessteuer. The remaining is used for canton+city, that’s likely the diff.

You can put it as paid “acomptes”. Also, you must input that figure when copying the data from your yearly salary certificate.

In any case, for Swiss people or people with a C permit, this is how it works indeed. In many cantons you get an amount proposed at the start of the year (based on past declarations), but it is your responsibility to figure out if this amount is appropriate or needs to be adjusted. Interests (both ways) give an incentive to spend some time to do the calculation.

In the case of Quellensteuer, the amount deducted from the salary does not in my understanding depend on past declarations, but is a percentage from the salary obtained from a general lookup table. It is thus even more likely to deviate from the final amount due (except for those below the threshold from which a declaration is required, of course).

[Disclaimer: this is not tax advice, only the sharing of experience]

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