Finances & Taxes

The Swiss tax system is divided into the direct national tax as well as into cantonal and community taxes. If you live and work in Switzerland, you must pay tax here. Family allowances help to compensate for the costs of supporting a family. Accounts may be opened with banks or at the Swiss Post.


Banks as well as the Swiss Post offer various types of accounts. As a rule, you must be a resident of Switzerland to open an account and provide proof of your identity. Opening an account is usually free of charge. However, various fees will then apply. Since fees, interest rates and services may vary significantly, we recommend that you compare products and services before opening an account.

Tax system

The Swiss tax system is divided into the direct national tax, cantonal and community taxes. Every person domiciled, living and/or working in Switzerland must pay tax here. You are required buy law to declare all your earnings (e.g. your salary) as well as your total assets in your tax declaration («Steuererklärung»). As a rule, your tax liability starts once you rent an apartment in Switzerland.

Your taxes will be directly deducted from your salary on a pay-as-you-earn basis («Quellensteuer») if you are a foreign national, you do not yet have a permanent residence permit and you are not married to or in a registered partnership with a Swiss citizen or a permanent residence permit holder.

Family allowances

Family allowances (child and/or education allowances) help compensate parents for the cost of raising and educating their children. Employees must apply via their employer. Self-employed persons or persons without a paid employment should contact the Canton of Zurich Family Compensation Office («Familienausgleichskasse»). Depending on your situation, you may also be entitled to child allowances if your children live outside Switzerland.

Weiterführende Informationen

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Kanton Zürich - Steueramt


Bändliweg 21
8090 Zürich
Route (Google)


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