The time in the home office can be used to fill out the tax return.
Due to the Corona crisis, some cantons have extended the deadline for submitting tax returns by a few months. But one thing is certain: this period will also expire. That’s why it’s worth using one or two coffee breaks in the home office to gather the documents and do the tax return.
However: For employees, working from home does not bring any additional deductions, after all, from a tax point of view, it doesn’t matter where someone earns their wages that they receive from the employer.
In this case, the self-employed may fare a little better. If you normally work from home, you can deduct the cost of a room used as an office. A little consolation in these very difficult times for many self-employed people.
More and more companies no longer send wage statements home, but instead provide a link on the intranet. That saves a lot of paper. Properly organized, filling out the tax return is almost fun! Especially if you fill out the online tax return that most cantons provide and don’t forget to turn on the virtual assistant, which calculates deductions automatically.
A government assistant with a high sense of citizenship: “The cantons programmed the online assistant with the citizens in mind. You don’t have to worry about that,” says Denis Boivin (49), dispelling concerns that the state could withhold one or the other tax deduction.
He’s not worried that he might run out of work because of the little electronic helpers: “There are a lot of people who have an allergy to filling out tax returns. It doesn’t matter whether it’s in writing or electronically,” says the head of taxes and law at the trust company BDO.
For everyone who does not suffer from an allergic reaction to the tax return, twelve worthwhile tax-saving tips from the BDO experts.
Tip 1: Claim and document all deductions
Sounds trite, but it’s important. Every taxpayer must be able to prove tax-reducing factors. It is therefore advisable to file the receipts in an orderly manner during the tax year so that they are ready to hand at the end of the year.
Tip 2: Don’t forget packages
The tax return allows flat-rate deductions for commuting, insurance and other expenses. Make sure you haven’t forgotten anything either.
Tip 3: Make provisions for old age
You can pay a maximum amount into pillar 3a each year. For employees, this is a maximum of 7,056 francs in 2023. For self-employed people without a 2nd pillar, this is up to twenty percent of their income and a maximum of CHF 35,280.
Tip 4: Childcare deduction
A childcare deduction can be claimed from all cantons and the Confederation.
Tip 5: Underuse deduction for imputed rental value
Even when the children have long been able to stand on their own two feet, taxes can still be saved. In the case of properties that have become too large after the children have moved out or the death of a life partner, the so-called “underuse deduction” can be requested.
Tip 6: Wealth management costs
Even if the stock market doesn’t perform well, there are fees for asset management. These costs of asset management by third parties can be deducted from taxable income. In various cantons, you can choose between the effective deduction and a lump sum of 0.5 to 3 per thousand of the assets.
Tip 7: Education is worth it
All self-paid training and further education costs are deductible from taxable income. The maximum amount is 12,000 francs, in Basel-Stadt even 18,000 francs.
Tip 8: Claim healthcare costs
Self-funded medical expenses and disability-related expenses can be deducted if they are higher than 5 percent of the net income. With a net income of 60,000 francs, you can deduct medical expenses that exceed 3,000 francs.
Tip 9: Specify donations
Donations to charitable organizations can be deducted from taxable income.
Tip 10: Indirect amortization of mortgages
In the case of indirect amortization, the repayments are made to the bank into a pillar 3a account, which serves as security for the bank. As a result, the mortgage debt and debt interest remain high and can be fully deducted from assets or income.
Tip 11: Save energy and taxes
Investments that serve to save energy can also be deducted from taxable income if they increase in value (except in the canton of Lucerne).
Tip 12: Pay your tax debt early
Money that is in the savings account pays (almost) no interest. Money at the tax offices, on the other hand, does. Depending on the canton, interest is credited for taxes paid early. But be careful: If you pay too late, you have to pay hefty penalty interest.