Finances & Taxes

The Swiss tax system is divided into the direct federal tax as well as into cantonal and municipal taxes. If you live and work in Switzerland, you are liable to pay taxes. Family allowances help to compensate for family expenses. Accounts may be opened with banks or with Swiss Post.


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

Tax system

The Swiss tax system is divided into the direct federal tax on the one hand, and cantonal and municipal taxes on the other hand. Every person domiciled, residing and/or working in Switzerland is liable to pay taxes. You are obliged to declare all your earnings (e.g. your salary) as well as your total assets in your annual tax declaration. As a rule, your tax liability starts once you take up residence in Switzerland.

Taxes will be directly deducted from your salary (tax at source) if you are a foreign national, if you do not yet have a permanent residence permit and if 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 to compensate for the costs incurred to parents for the upbringing and education of their children. Employees must apply via their employer. Self-employed persons or persons without a gainful employment are asked to contact the cantonal family compensation office. Depending on the situation, you may also be entitled to child allowances if your children live abroad.

Further information

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