Switzerland moves to eliminate unequal taxes for married couples

Switzerland moves to eliminate unequal taxes for married couples

The Swiss government has submitted a plan that would see married couples living in Switzerland file their taxes individually. The bill has been opened for public consultation between now and March 16, 2023. 

Proposals could mean the end of the “penalisation of marriage”

Thus far, married couples in Switzerland have had to file their tax returns jointly, meaning there is often a larger tax burden on married couples who both work compared to those who are cohabiting or live alone. The government argued that filing taxes individually would simplify taxation in Switzerland and make the system fairer. 

The Federal Council has published a 120-page report justifying the need for such a change. According to the draft submitted for consultation, “The share of taxpayers who will see their burden of direct federal tax drop thanks to the reform is significantly greater than that of taxpayers whose burden will increase.”

New plans will see 1,7 million more tax filings

According to Le Matin, the proposals could see 1,7 million more tax returns filed each year, creating significantly more work for the tax authorities. The Federal Council also made sure to stress that while discussion about the reforms are taking place at a national level, it would be down to Swiss cantons to implement the change and that “the fixing of the scales will be their sole autonomy.”

It is expected that the revenue obtained from direct taxes would be reduced by up to one billion Swiss francs once the reforms are implemented. However, it is expected that this reduction could be offset, as the new regulations incentivise both partners to find a job, whereas the previous legislation made it more attractive for married couples to share just one salary.

Emily Proctor


Emily Proctor

Emily grew up in the UK before moving abroad to study International Relations and Chinese. She then obtained a Master's degree in International Security and gained an interest in journalism....

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