Timing for real estate capital gain tax computation?


I am trying to buy a property in Zurich and the bank suggested that we’d write clearly on the contract how much capital gain tax the seller would need to pay, so that the money is paid straight away (otherwise I’d be liable to pay, in case the seller for some reason doesn’t).

The seller sent the request to the tax office last week. I guess it’s a super easy calculation to make, but the tax office is notoriously busy.

Anybody went through the same procedure and can guess how long it normally takes?

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I bought a house in canton of Aargau and in our case the notary drafted the contract, including a section that the seller has to pay the Grundstückgewinnsteuer by himself, without specifying the amount. We also had to wire 3% of the total amount to the tax authorities, which is apparently a new practice in AG and will relieve us from any liabilities. I found this to be quite an elegant way to do it.

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Best part about it: even if the taxes are above those 3%, it has no impact for you as a buyer because the max. liability is 3% in AG. That way you don‘t have to worry about it at all.

They started doing that 3 years ago.

TBH I find it strange that the buyer would be liable to pay the tax, if the seller doesn’t.

Anyway, in Zurich it works like this. Let’s see how long the tax office takes to compute the amount, in the meantime any data point from personal experience would be appreciated.

I guess it is to prevent that the seller just moves abroad and is not reachable anymore.

In canton SZ this was pretty fast, roughly 10 days if I remember correctly. Never bought a house in Zurich, but the Zurich tax office is very slow in my experience. I owned a corporation in Zurich in the past and I sometimes got the appraisal after 2 years. In SZ this only takes a few months.

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It took 10 days to produce the tax estimate.