Property buying guide for Switzerland
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Taxes in Switzerland

There is a three-tier tax system in Switzerland: federal, cantonal and communal (municipal). Each of the 26 cantons has its own tax legislation and each of the 2,800 communes sets its own communal tax rate.

Transaction and registration taxes

Title deed transfer tax in Switzerland varies from 0% to 4% depending on the canton. For example, Aargau, Zug and Zurich do not charge for this service. However, it is 1.5% of the property value in Luzern and 1.8% in Bern and Vale.

To register property, new owners must pay a land register fee of 0.5%.

Ownership and income taxes

Real estate tax is annual and ranges from 0.05% to 0.30% of the cadastral value depending on the canton.

Income tax is charged at federal, cantonal and communal levels. The maximum federal level is 11.5% for unmarried taxpayers with income over CHF 755,200 per annum and over CHF 895,800 for married couples and single taxpayers with children. The maximum cantonal rate is approximately 30% but can reach 40% in some cases. Residents of Wollerau in the canton of Schwyz have the highest income rate per capita and the lowest income tax: less than 19% in total. Income tax is paid on property even it is not rented and the owner does not earn anything according to the potential rental income.

Capital gains and inheritance taxes

Capital gains tax varies from 25% to 50% and is paid upon sale of the property. The rate depends on the canton and duration of ownership.

Inheritance and gift tax are charged by all cantons except Schwyz. For property worth CHF 1M, the tax ranges from CHF 20,000 to CHF 400,000 depending on the canton and degree of relation. Spouses and children are exempt from inheritance and gift tax, except in Luzern.

Corporate and wealth taxes

Wealth tax is maximum 1.5% (approximately).

Corporate tax varies from 12% to 24%.

Disclaimer: the information in the above article is for reference and may be subject to change over time. Persons interested in exact calculations should contact a certified tax specialist in this country before purchasing property.

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    Property buying guide for Switzerland
    Article 6 of 6
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