For most people, the main tax is Swiss income and wealth tax. Income tax in Switzerland is collected by the Confederation (Bundessteuer) as well as the cantons and municipalities (Staatssteuern and Gemeindesteuern). Because all of the 26 cantons have their own tax code, the tax burden varies from canton to canton.
Tax payers are required to complete a tax declaration each year. The taxes due are calculated based on the tax factors in this declaration (income and assets). Foreign employees who do not hold a permanent residence permit (C permit) but who have their tax home in Switzerland have their taxes deducted directly from their salary (Quellensteuer). For gross salaries exceeding CHF 120,000, a subsequent accounting reconciliation is performed.
Further information on the basic guidelines of the Swiss tax system is available on the website of the Swiss Federal Tax Administration (FTA). Detailed information for the cantons of Basel-Stadt and Baselland is available on the websites of the tax administration canton of Basel-Stadt and tax administration canton of Baselland.
The main aspects are outlined here:
- Newcomers with a B permit: during the first five years of your stay, withholding tax (Quellensteuer) is calculated automatically. In other words, a certain percentage is deducted directly from your salary (source or Quelle).
- You will only need to complete a tax declaration for the first time after this period. The forms are sent by the relevant cantonal tax authorities. The tax declaration can be completed in paper form or electronically.
- Important: before each new calendar year, cross-border commuters from Germany and France must obtain two copies of a certificate of residence (Ansässigkeitsbescheinigung or Attestation de résidence) from their tax offices and send them to their employer (Human Resources office of the University of Basel). This proves to the university and the canton of Basel-Stadt that you pay taxes elsewhere. Without this certificate, the University of Basel is required to deduct withholding tax from your salary and transfer it directly to the canton of Basel-Stadt. For more information, visit the website of the Infobest network.
- The university provides newly appointed professors with advice on how to roughly calculate taxes and basic guidance.
The GGG Migration and tax advisors, for example, can also help you fill out your tax declaration.