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20 July 2015

From 1 January 2016 also applies to for international weekly commuters

Unlike today, the so-called international weekly commuters who are domiciled abroad, but during the week work in Switzerland only returning home at weekends, will be limited in the extent to which they can deduct the travel costs of the weekly return journey. Whether a tariff correction is still worthwhile, has to be checked in each individual case.

On 9 February 2014 the electorate adopted a federal decree for financing and developing the railway infrastructure, the so-called FABI template. Quasi through the backdoor, it has thus made a direct impact on the future tax burden of commuters by limiting the tax deduction for travel between work and residence to a maximum of CHF 3,000, as of 1 January 2016. Currently the ceiling for the maximum deduction only applies for federal taxes; but numerous cantons will follow this lead and also reduce the deductible amounts for the cantonal and municipal taxes.

Now, as mentioned above, in addition to commuters resident in Switzerland, international weekly residents are also affected by the tax deduction restrictions. They often have particularly high travel costs. Previously, within the framework of the so-called tariff correction, their sometimes five-figure travel expenses could be deducted along with other things not included in the withholding tax rate (e.g., alimony, purchases in pension schemes, Pillar 3a etc.). If the deduction of transportation costs is no longer possible, each individual case will need to be examined to establish whether a tariff correction is still worthwhile.

Author: Christoph Niederer

Photo: Jorge Royan

Topics: ImmigrationTaxWeekly commuters

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