Tips on finding an accountant to do your tax return?

I live in a German speaking only canton, and the tax software only exists in German. I have investment portfolios in other countries (EU and not EU) as well as with ibkr. The accountant I’ve used in the past costs me well over 1000.- for the tax return which is much more than I’d like to pay and I don’t think my tax situation is so complicated to require costing so much.

How could I get my tax return done for a more reasonable amount? How do I find a trustworthy accountant? I asked my Swiss colleagues and they all do it themselves because they can speak German (obviously) and only have salaried income + assets in CH only.

I don’t have a suggestion how to find an accountant you can trust. However, can’t you use the tax declaration done by the previous accountant as a template? Or has the tax situation changed too much? If there are just a couple of points where the proper declaration is unclear, you may also ask here in the forum (or in the Swiss Finance Discord: https://discord.gg/v5jWFNKHz7).

“Instructions in English” at Steuererklärung natürliche Personen | Kanton Zürich may be helpful for translations of tax terms (also for other cantons).

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Not exactly answering your question, but here in Lausanne I have an accountant that does my (very simple) taxes and it has payed off already because sometimes I make mistakes. Our understanding is that I do my taxes myself on the software and they check it out and complete it for CHF 100-200, depending on the year. It also adds some “serious” to the declaration because the tax office sees that it comes from an accountant.

While this has worked for a few years, I think it may be time to ditch them since my situation is steady, I know all the items I can deduct and I can just check twice that I’ve input the numbers right and save the money.

What you are paying seems a lot. See at least if you can do some of the work yourself?

Taxes in Switzerland are usually not very difficult to do, so even some “amateur” that you find in the newspaper would probably do a good job.

Even your investments will be easy, you just have to list everything you own…No matter where they are.

I’ll definitely do it myself next year and if the tax offices asks for too many things I’m not able to provide them I’ll pay someone to fix it. I really can’t justify paying that much just to fill my tax return.

You might want to try Tax Camp. I have no personal experience with their services, but I know the founder from working at the same company in the past. The concept seems interesting. It’s basically a coaching in tax matters, “teaching” you to do your taxes by yourself. The website is in German, but might be worth checking if they offer their services in English as well. I hope this helps!

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Looks interesting but I looked everywhere and the price is so well hidden that I have no idea how much that costs.

If you decide to do the tax declaration yourself, I’ve found a good guide on mypersonalfinance.ch which explains the process step by step, including Wertschriften and DA-1

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Thank you, that’s a pretty good guide indeed!

Tax Camp sounds like it could be interesting, I like the idea of somebody coaching me on how to do the tax declaration. Sadly, it doesn’t look like they offer services in GE.

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The guide posted earlier is pretty good. I think you could manage with that alone, or maybe hiring someone for the first time and then copy from the previous year. I tried redoing mine on my own and arrived at the same result as the accountant. Except that they didn’t claim any deductions at all because “if the tax authority disputes them, it would cost more in accountant fees than it would save”… Yeah, well, I resubmitted the declaration myself with the deductions because come on…!

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Sure, it’s useful if you live in Canton Zurich, but like I said, I live in Geneva. :stuck_out_tongue: Screenshots in German from a completely different application aren’t really going to be incredibly useful for me. I have done my own tax declaration for the last 4 years, but every year I question if I’m doing it right or not, which is why I said something like Tax Camp could be interesting.

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I don’t live in either kantons and it’s still helpful in my opinion.

In the worst case, you could pay n’a accountant to double check your return after you’ve done it. It would cost you less than having it all done by someone else and you’d have the peace of mind.

Did some research and I found the following websites that offer help with taxes (I’m sure there’s a ton more):

But they all look kinda same same… Except for tax camp described earlier in this thread.

I have used Taxly (https://www.taxly.ch/) which was pretty neat.
Maybe this is something, what you are looking for?

The branding looks oddly similar to finpension :smiley:
They either hired the same digital studio, or is the same company sitting behind both? :slight_smile:

Ah yes, thanks! I saw https://www.taxly.ch last year, but back then only a few Cantons were supported. Now it seems that they can make it work for any Canton. Think I’ll give it a try :+1:

Any accountant will be happy of doing it. even a one from groupon or deindeal.

After they do it once, you can learn from the outcome what looks like and then you can do it next year yourself.

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