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How to maximise your tax deductions

Tips for tax optimization

Below you will find a short list of the most important tips for tax optimisation for individuals and legal entities.
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Optimise taxes simply and easily

With the help of the following tips, you can optimise your taxes simply and easily.

Private person

Pay into pillar 3a

Everything you pay into the pillar 3a scheme will be deducted in full from your taxable income, up to a maximum of CHF 6,883 (2021). Most pillar 3a accounts are even free of charge. Self-employed persons have the option of paying up to 20% of their net earned income, up to a maximum of CHF 34,416 (2021), into pillar 3a and deducting it from their taxable income.

Tax-optimised investments

If bonds are sold prior to the interest payment date, the profit consists of the difference between the buying and selling price, which is tax-free (tax-free capital gain). In doing so, interest payment – which would be taxable – is made. Nevertheless, accrued interest, so-called "Marchzinsen", is reflected in the higher selling price. The same procedure can be applied to stocks. In this case, the stock must be sold before the dividend is paid out. Of course, the transaction costs must be taken into account when deciding whether such a procedure is worthwhile for you. Furthermore, it cannot be ruled out that the tax authorities might assume a tax evasion scheme if you proceed systematically. However, giving preference to dividend-bearing securities that finance distributions through reserves from capital contributions is also a proven way of reducing one's tax burden, as such payments are tax-free.

Sole proprietorship

Voluntary joining of the individual to a pension fund of employees

Owners of sole proprietorships are not obligated to join a pension fund. However, self-employed persons have the right to voluntarily join the pension fund of their employees. This has several advantages. Thus, they improve their risk insurance, provide for old age and reduce the business income subject to AHV and taxes, since the contributions due to the employer (usually 50 percent of the premiums) can be booked as business expenses. In addition, employee contributions are deductible within the framework of private tax returns. As a rule, self-employed persons who decide to join the pension funds only in their middle age have very high contribution gaps. Accordingly, high purchases are possible in practice. However, it must be noted that the possibility of the "large" deduction for self-employed persons of up to CHF 34,416 (2021) by payments into the 3rd pillar is no longer available at this time.

Collaboration of the spouse in a sole proprietorship

AGBRs are voluntary advance payments by an employer to pension institutions to cover future employer obligations. The amount of such advance payments is limited. The federal government and most cantons allow payments to an AGBR for up to five times the annual employer's contribution. Contributions can be made during the current year, but in many cantons also until 30 June of the following year. The AGBR cannot be reclaimed directly, but the employer can, for example, instruct the pension fund to charge the employer's contributions to the AGBR.

Limited liability company / Public limited coporation

Value adjustment on receivables

The formation of a value adjustment (del credere) on the receivables reduces the profit and thus the tax burden. Here, the cantonal tax administration defines the amount in which the value adjustment (for example, 5% or 10% on the receivables portfolio) may be formed.

Book accruals and deferrals

The annual accounts must show all expenses and income originating from the year in question. At the end of the year, periodic accruals and deferrals must be booked in order to be able to present the results in the correct period. For example, invoices that relate to the year 2021 but are not issued until 2022 are posted to 2021 with accrual postings. The reverse case is also possible.

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