Basel Tax System

B or L permit holders
As a B or L permit holder working for an employer in Switzerland, you will find that tax is deducted from your salary by your employer automatically (Quellensteuer). If you earn less than Fr. 120,000.- per year, have no other substantial income and are not married to a Swiss citizen or a C permit holder, you don’t have to do anything else and with the Quellensteuer your tax is considered to be fully paid.

If you have property in or outside Switzerland or have substantial income for example from investments, you have to file a tax return and are liable yourself to inform the authorities of this.

If you want to claim back your withholding tax on bank accounts or get a refund for the 3rd pillar investment, you have to contact the tax office before 31st March of the following year. Afterwards, no tax claims can be made.

C permit holders, Swiss citizens, B-/L-permit holders earning more than Fr. 120,000.- or having other income
The tax you have to pay will be assessed once you have filed your tax return. Any tax at source (Quellensteuer) deducted by your employer will be considered an advance against the final tax bill.

As soon as the tax return has been filed and the tax office has made the assessment, you will get a final demand (Definitive Rechnung) which has to be paid within 30 days. Any interest for late payment is included in this invoice.

If you neither pay nor contact the tax office to work out a reasonable payment plan, there will be a Betreibung – the equivalent of a County Court Judgment – which in the end enables the tax office to either send the bailiff to your house or contact your employer in order to have a part of your salary paid to the tax office directly (this won’t make you look very good with your employer and should be avoided at all costs).

Basel Stadt Tax Details
Baselland Tax Details
FAQ’s from Basel Stadt Tax Forum 2003

Going from B to C permit
At the transition from B to C permit we strongly recommend you go on paying a similar amount to the Quellensteuer that was deducted previously. Pay approximately 65% to the tax office in Liestal and 35% to your localGemeinde. Both will send you payment slips on request. Like this, you should be reasonably within the deadlines to pay the tax.

Moving from Basel-Stadt to Baselland
If you move from Basel-Stadt to Baselland you might have to pay tax twice in the same year (although not FOR the same year): For example, if you moved on 1st June 2008, you had to pay the BS tax for 2007 by 30th May 2008. For 2008, you will have to pay the BL tax by 30th September. If you leave paying your tax to the last minute, this might cause a problem – monthly payments in advance will avoid this.

May we help you?
Grether MacGeorge GmbH gives tax advice and completes tax returns for expats, in addition to our other wealth management services. You can order our documentation on tax returns (things you will need, costs etc) and arrange an appointment by email or phone 061 206 88 00.