Vaud Tax Authorities - alimony deduction

Interested in some thoughts/ advice please guys with anyone who’s dealt with Vaud tax authorities. Summary situation is this:
. Lived Geneva 2010 to 2019, C permit, claiming alimony reduction for legally agreed support for wife/ children in UK family court

  • All fine with Geneva tax authorities - i used to list deductions in a spreadsheet and put the amount in the tax return and always had no problems
  • Moved to Vaud Feb 2019 so 2019 year in Vaud. Spring 2020 I put in deductions as usual on Vaudtax (Nyon office), they asked me to send in divorce settlement translated which I did and the deductions rejigged to show a different view than what I had produced in Geneva. They then refused a large part of what I had been deducting in Geneva since 2010 and demanded a relatively large payment
  • I challenged this - on the basis that the divorce settlement was clear what I paid and these deductions had been deducted by commune/ federal/ canton for 9 tax years
  • Refused to change their opinion saying this is Vaud and has nothing to do with Geneva
  • Oct 2020 I sent appeal to Lausanne
  • Since then nothing has come back at all re 2019 situation
  • Submitted 2020 and 2021 returns submitted on time and again nothing to date - balance owing to me in 2021 due to some renovations

It’s almost 2 years since I challenged 2019 situation and I now have three years of tax returns not completed.

I’m wavering between assuming its a case of inefficiency and so will wind its way eventually vs going in there and politely asking that something is done to move this along.

Does anyone have any view/ experience of dealing with the Vaud tax authorities? Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

Good morning …

Give them a call and ask for an appointment…

First, Geneva and Vaud could tax you differently. You can’t assume that a deduction in one canton would be accepted in another one.

So, if I understand correctly since oct 2020, you have received nothing from the tax office and you didn’t pay anything for 2019, 2020 and 2021.

In your case, I would call the office to ask for a follow-up. In any case, they will need to answer your appeal accepting or denying. If it’s denied, you should take a lawyer and go to court.

Difficult to respond without seeing a copy of your divorce settlement and your tax return.

The tax authorities will accept the amounts shown in the divorce settlement. They may request the proof of payments (bank transfer confirmation).

Example: GBP 400 per child per month until 25 years old.

The amount will be accepted by the tax authorities. The same would apply if the settlement puts at your charge additional costs (i.e. medical and dental costs).

However, if you have a “side agreement” with your ex-wife and are paying bills outside of the agreement/instead of the agreement, they will most likely not accept it.

As you appealed against your 2019 taxation, they put 2020 and 2021 on hold.

edit: A taxpayer in Geneva lost his appeal at the Federal level. The payments were outside of the divorce agreement and there was no formal agreement for these “side payments” 2C_544/2019 21.04.2020

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A little bit off-topic, but I just found interesting tax rates comparison between cantons: Swiss tax burden: Comparison of tax rankings | Credit Suisse Switzerland. Only NE seems to be worse than VD (yes, I’m in VD too…). I didn’t know that GE is not that bad (17th place compared to 25th of VD). I hope it is not because they allow alimony deductions whereas VD not ;).


Thanks everyone for the responses. it’s interesting, and thanks Guillaume for the legal case reference, that the CO is quite clear and the case law cited too. What is a bit different in my case is it’s a UK court agreement from 2010 and so doesn’t reflect in any way Swiss divorce law. In Swiss law for example there seems to be a principle of reciprocity (ie) if one person is paying and claiming a tax deduction it is adding to the taxable income of the other. That doesn’t exist in common law.

In UK divorces there’s a common clause used which basically means you are paying an ex-spose alimony but you pay it directly to the third party recipient (in my case school fees, I assume for simplicity and I guess to avoid the danger it is used for something else) - this is one of the things that is challenged by the Nyon tax people saying school fees can’t be claimed when in the case law in Guillaume’s reference they clearly can if stated in the divorce settlement.

I think given it’s summer I’m going to leave going there until beginning of October if i don’t hear anything before, then I can make a fuss about it now being two years for something that is actually quite straightforward etc etc and see where it gets me.

You are absolutely right about Vaud - i pay more here than I did in Geneva and the administration, while it’s a bit more approachable than those concrete blocks in Geneva, is highly inefficient and not just for tax.

Thanks again