Taxes when living in Switzerland and working for an Italian company

Hi All,

My girlfriend (Italian citizen) is considering a move to Switzerland while being a post-graduate student at a Swiss university and being employed (full-time) by an Italian-based company. She has a possibility to register in Switzerland taking either a student-permit or a work-permit (B) providing she proves sufficient funds to be based in Switzerland (obvious advantage of a student permit is not having to pick up mandatory Swiss health insurance provided the Italian coverage is sufficient).

What we are trying to figure out is the taxation topic while being register in Switzerland but working for an Italian-based company (on an Italian contract). Would she have to be doing her taxes in Switzerland being based here or would her taxes be done in Italy due to her actual contract / work being Italian-based? Would that differ depending on whether she would be on a student or work permit? Has anybody faced a similar situation before and has any experience in this topic?

Independently, I am planning to make an enquiry with a Swiss tax specialist to get some professional advice, but thought would make sense to get some input in case somebody has dealt with this before.

Many thanks!

Where is the work happening, which country would she reside in? If it’s in Switzerland I don’t think you can avoid paying social contributions (and filing a tax return). The dual taxation treaty should then avoid paying tax twice, but I’d assume she’d have to file a return in both countries.

@nabalzbhf - thanks for your reply.

The work is for an Italian-based company (under an Italian contract), just instead of being in the office there, she would be working remotely. she would be based and reside in Switzerland (to be registered at the same address as I currently reside).

I woudln’t call a swiss tax specialist, rather an italian one. Here you can call the tax office first.

And I would ask the company to pay for it, since it is for their compliance also…

I have a strong suspicion you legally need a work permit for doing that, and that you’ll need to sort out the social contributions on the swiss side (it’s similar to some of the other recent threads with folks being remotely employed, unless there’s some specific conditions between Switzerland and Italy).

There might be less issues if it’s done temporarily (e.g. couple of weeks), but long term sounds risky. For reference, on a non working visa to the US, on business travel, I was technically not allowed to do any work while being there, only business meetings would be ok.

I will need to check about teleworking between Italy and Switzerland but if I compared with France am Switzerland, when a french worker works more than 25% of the time in Franace (teleworking) the employer needs to pay the social contribution in France !

In the case of your girlfriend she’s working for an italian company in Switzerland, so the italian company will have to pay the social contribution of Switzerland! This could be an issue for the Italian company. Just need to check if there is a Convention between CH-ITA for that.

But ! Since the coronavirus, I know that all border country of Switzerland agree to not tax all remote worker who are working more than 25% of their time at home until the 31.12.2020. So for now it will be ok, but on a long term work it may have an issue.

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