On 1st January 2016 revised regulations on taxation of expats came into force. They do, to some extent, narrow the scope of eligible persons and limit available benefits.
Scope of eligible persons
Expat taxation is available to employees in management positions and specialists seconded or posted by their home country employers to work for a Swiss company for maximum five years. Previously, self-employed specialists could also be eligible for the privileged expat status in specific circumstances.
Changes were made in particular in respect of the following expenses:
- Adequate housing costs in Switzerland, provided the expat keeps his apartment in the home country for use during the secondment. If the apartment in the home jurisdiction is rented out Swiss housing costs are no longer deductible.
- The costs of foreign-language private schooling for children provided that public schools do not offer an education in that language. Previously costs for transportation, nutrition and after school care were also deductible.
Employees who already qualified as expats prior to 1st January 2016 will benefit from the previous regime until termination of their secondment. Hence, for them, the changes should not have a negative impact. (see new Ordinance).