Tax deductions in Switzerland

As it is tax season and our host here finds us too noisy, what about listing tax deductable items in Switzerland? Most people probably use some sort of tax software or consultant, but it is useful to be aware of deductible items upfront so that most annoying part of tax declarations (documentation) can be improved.

So, off the top of my head and having done tax declaration some days ago, here deductions starting from the line “net salary” on your income sheet:

Pillar 3a (7000 CHF p.a.)
Pillar 2 purchases
Health insurance premiums
Uninsured health costs
Commute costs
Meal costs on working days
Interest payments
Renovations of property
Professional trainings
Lumpsum child deduction
Wealth management costs
Tax back pay (?)
Nursing fees

Feel free to add.

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Reclaim withholding tax on interest/dividend payments…

Is there any way to deduct to repairs done to property abroad.(i.e Mexico)

Also I saw it on ef but it’s gone now how does one report such properties and what’s the tax rate impact?

Afaik you can deduct a percentage but no idea for bigger projects.

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That’s interesting. I’d have to put circa 10k renovating. So I wonder what the options are

How does this one work?

And what are rules for this one?

Uninsured health costs and your excess, which your health insurance provider should supply each year in January, can be deducted provided these total more than 5% of your taxable income. (Canton Zurich)

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Every little helps, in Zurich you can claim CHF 500 charitable contributions with no details required.

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But not necessarily in the other 25 cantons. Taxation is a cantonal matter

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That sounds difficult to believe because the receiving institutions need to fulfil certain requirements.

Huh? There is obviously also federal tax to which deductions can apply.

I just take a straight deduction to the tax return (offsetting the rental income).

Professional courses
Deductions for second income if you have one

And 3rd pillar amount changes every few years - currently set at 7056 CHF for 2024.

If you are self employed max 3rd pillar deductions is 35’280 CHF or 20% of net income (as long as there is no second pillar).

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Deductions depends on the canton of course, but also if you’re employed or self-employed, yet there’s a relatively new middle category, employed but as home-office.

Tax wise, for home-office it’s best to rent a co-working space, then you can deduct meals, travel and co-working rent costs. Deduction of actual home-office costs doesn’t fit in the electronics tax forms which is annoying, but AFAIK you can claim: part of your rent proportional to the space used for home office, part of the utility bills, internet bill.

I’m curious how it goes for those having 100% contracts with 2 or 3 days home-office. I think it’ll be a mix where you deduct meals and travel only for the office days, and deduct home-office for the rest accordingly

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In Zurich city they have been allowing one to deduct meals and travel as if in full office mode and in exchange you don’t deduct for flat use etc. Not sure how it all squares up but seems a reasonable and practical approach. This was until 2022 tax year.

I also wonder how it works if you are allowed to work from home occasionally but have a contract that states your office as your place of work… Many companies have this flex now and not sure how the tax authority would be able to monitor this

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I think the same principle applies. They let you deduct commute and meals, but not any rooms or electricity cost etc for home office. Nobody asks.

I believe home office costs are deductible if a separate room is used and if a minimum of 2 days a week are spent working from home. Office space in a living room or bedroom is not eligible.

Maybe a dumb question, but under commuting, can one deduct both bicycle and the halftax card for the train? Sometimes it’s pouring buckets or too much snow and you have to take the train. Or maybe you take the train to a particular station and ride your bike the rest of the way?

Not a dumb question. According to you can deduct train and chf 700 for the bike.

«Auf meinem täglichen Arbeitsweg fahre ich mit dem Velo zum Bahnhof und nehme dann den Zug. Darf ich neben den Kosten fürs Bahnabo auch einen Abzug fürs Velo geltend machen?»

Ja. Denn die Fahrkosten zwischen dem Wohn- und dem Arbeitsort sind als ­Berufskosten abzugsfähig. Sie können also sowohl die ­effektiven Kosten für das öffentliche Verkehrsmittel als auch 700 Franken für die Benutzung des Fahrrads in Abzug bringen. So hat das Bundesgericht entschieden.

Sorry page isn’t available in English. I’d use



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