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Tax optimization in Switzerland: The best tips to save taxes in 2022

Updated on October 26, 2022

Taxes are an important topic in Switzerland. The differences, regionally and in the way of taxation, are often discussed. It is precisely these differences that are worth taking a closer look at. Because with clever tax planning, you can save several thousand francs per year. Find out here how you can also sustainably reduce your tax burden with the most important starting points.


Retirement planning

The first important lever with which you can reduce your tax burden on both income and assets is payments into pillar 3a and purchases into the pension fund. Both may be deducted from taxable income, whereby even the interest income on the funds remains tax-free and no wealth tax is due on them. And when the pension funds are withdrawn, a reduced rate is due on the withdrawal.


Change of residence

There are very large differences in the tax burden between the cantons as well as between the individual municipalities. While a single person without children pays about CHF 5,000 in taxes for a taxable income of CHF 75,000 in the city of Zug, for example, almost CHF 15,000 is required in Neuchâtel for the same net income. A change of residence can therefore save a great deal of money under certain circumstances, although other financial effects, such as higher rents, must of course also be taken into account.


Real estate

Owners of real estate also have several starting points for optimizing the taxes they have to pay. For example, those who occupy their property themselves must pay tax on the imputed rental value as income, while value-preserving maintenance work and interest on mortgages may be deducted from taxable income and the debt may be deducted from assets.


Thus, it is more attractive from a tax perspective to finance the house with a mortgage than with pure equity. In addition, in the case of value-preserving renovations, it is important to consider whether these costs are higher than the granted lump sum of 10 or 20% of the annual imputed rental value. However, only maintenance work and energy-saving measures are deductible. However, with good timing of these works, thousands of francs in taxes can be saved over the years. In addition, a property purchase is also suitable for reducing property tax, as its taxable value is often significantly lower than its actual value.


There are also tax differences in the amortization of the mortgage, depending on the type. While in the case of a direct repayment, lower debt interest leads to higher income taxes, the indirect repayment via a 3a account is doubly advantageous: while the deductible debt interest remains the same, the payments into the 3rd pillar may also be deducted from income.


Leaving the church

A simple way to reduce the annual tax burden by several hundred or thousand francs is to leave the church. However, by doing so, one also forgoes participation in church life as well as the free opportunity for a wedding in church or a funeral.


Investing money

There are many ways to invest assets. The differences in taxation should be closely examined in view of optimization. While interest and dividends on investments, for example, must be taxed like ordinary income, price gains on shares and cryptocurrencies are tax-free. Price losses, on the other hand, cannot be deducted from the tax burden either. The various investment options therefore also entail a high risk, depending on the case, which must be included in the calculation.


Would you also like to reduce your tax burden in the long term and are looking for competent, reliable and trustworthy support? Then contact us now.

Oliver Diggelmann

Do you have questions? Get in touch with me, I am happy to help.

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