Switzerland to move towards individual taxation for married couples

Switzerland to move towards individual taxation for married couples

Called the "criminalisation of marriage", married couples in Switzerland can face a large disadvantage when paying Swiss taxes, particularly if both partners have jobs. Now, the Federal Council has a new plan for taxation, which would see taxes raised based solely on the individual.

Switzerland moves to reform taxes

Switzerland is moving towards major reforms of the tax system, to make sure that married couples are not treated unfairly by federal taxation. Currently, couples who are married fill in their tax return together as a single entity, while co-habitants are taxed as individuals.

For example, if two cohabitants had salaries of 100.000 Swiss francs and 80.000 Swiss francs a year, they would be taxed on each amount individually. However, a married couple with the same salaries would see their earnings combined into a taxable income of 180.000 Swiss francs. This would then be taxed at a higher rate, despite both parties earning the same wage.

This severely impacts the income of married couples who both have jobs. Although tax breaks do exist, the rate of reimbursement is not enough to make payments equal. Therefore, the Federal Council has proposed a plan that would ease the tax burden on married couples.

Plans to reduce Swiss taxes for families with children

The council submitted three plans for parliament to consider. Under the first and most popular plan, married couples would be split between those who have children and those that do not. The tax burden of families with children would then be reduced, while taxation for couples without children would stay the same. Le Matin reported that, while this would ease the pressure off some couples, it does not resolve the inequality between those who are married and those who co-habit.

Alongside the main plan, two variations have also been proposed. One would see taxation based solely on individuals, and another would provide tax relief to households with unequal income streams. The bill is set to be drafted by the autumn of 2022, although it is likely to face a referendum thereafter.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

Read more



Leave a comment