Deductions are an important part of your tax return. We have summarised the 10 most important types of tax deductions in Switzerland for you below.
1. Commuting to work
If you use public transport, it is possible to deduct the costs of travel between your home and your place of work. If you use a private car, the rules vary from canton to canton.
In the first case, you can deduct the cost of your season ticket or keep the various payment receipts. If in your canton it is possible to deduct travel expenses when using a private car, use the number of kilometers of the shortest route. The use of a car must generally be justified by a long distance, lack of public transport, illness or disability.
In principle, your meal expenses are deductible. Please note, however, that the cantonal guidelines state that only reduced deductions are possible if you are not employed full time. In this case, it is important to bear in mind that this depends on your work schedule.
For example, if you only work in the morning, no deductions can be made because you can go home for lunch at the end of your working hours. In addition, you should be aware that if your home is not far from your workplace, only your travel expenses can be deducted. Detailed information on this subject can be found in the tax instructions.
3. Application fees
Application expenses can be deducted from taxes under the heading of business expenses as other business expenses.
Make sure you keep all the receipts you wish to deduct, as the tax authorities may ask for them. Photocopying, travel or postage costs are in principle deductible.
4. Temporary residents
If you are a temporary resident, it is important to distinguish between different situations.
On the one hand, the parents can only make the deduction for children, and on the other hand, the apprentice can deduct travel and rental costs as business expenses.
Training and further training costs can be deducted as soon as they exceed the initial training. At the federal level, the limit is CHF 12,000. At cantonal level, the maximum amounts vary.
To find out what the limit is in your case, you can consult the cantonal guidelines or your guide. It is recommended that you keep all receipts and proof of payment.
6. Sickness costs
A deduction can be claimed if the combined amount of sickness, accident and dental expenses exceeds 5% of net income. Only a few cantons exceptionally allow the deduction of all medical expenses.
For example, on an income of CHF 90,000, you can make deductions for medical expenses that exceed CHF 4,500.
7. Pension fund and pillar 3a
Deductions can be made for pension fund contributions and Pillar 3a payments. In the case of the pension fund, the total amount of contributions paid during the year is in principle deductible, except for persons arriving from abroad.
For regular employees, Pillar 3a contributions are possible up to an amount of CHF 6,826 (2020) or CHF 6,883 (2021 and 2022), which is also the maximum amount that can be contributed. For self-employed persons, the limit is 20% of net income and a maximum of CHF 34,128 (2020) or CHF 34,416 (2021 and 2022).
8. Pillar 3b insurance premiums
Pillar 3b contributions can only be claimed to a limited extent. They are counted as insurance premiums together with health insurance premiums. In most cases, however, the flat-rate deduction for insurance premiums is already exhausted with the health insurance premiums. To compensate, subsequent payments are tax-free.
9. Child deduction and child care
Until you reach the age of majority or complete your first education, deductions can be made for each child in your household. The deduction at federal level is CHF 6,500, half of which is available in the case of shared custody.
The deductions available at cantonal level vary, please consult your guide for the exact amount. Deductions for third party care costs are possible up to an amount of CHF 10,100 at federal level.
It is important to note that in the case of children under joint parental authority, half can be deducted for each parent.
10. Support for parents
If your parents have reached retirement age and need help, you can deduct a certain amount. The amount of this deduction is CHF 6,500 for federal tax, with additional deductions possible at cantonal and communal level.
It is important that you have a certificate from your parents' commune of residence confirming that you need help.