In Switzerland, salaries are amongst the highest in the world, the social security benefits are excellent and the quality of life is among the highest in the world as well. However, the labor market is small, competition for jobs is extremely high and for those outside EU only a limited number of jobs are available.
Though Zurich and Geneva were recently named the most expensive cities worldwide besides New York, these cities also have the highest salaries, right after the residents of Luxembourg, in terms of purchasing power according to UBS. The average cost of a Swiss working hour is estimated to be 41 dollars, while the minimum is considered 21 dollars an hour. So before moving to Switzerland there are some financial tips to know that can provide a better Swiss experience.
- Married couples – if both are employed, they are jointly assessed when it come taxes. If one partner is employed and the other looks after the children at home, the couple might be eligible for a tax break that can even amount to a full time average salary. Some benefits are also available for the retirees and the individuals above 60 years, such as paying a lump sum to a canton and receive a residence permit in return. This is mostly common in the cantons with the highest expats communities such as Zurich and Geneva.
- Once the residence permits for Switzerland are received, the expats are not taxed anymore at the source, as the taxation works many other European countries. The Swiss authorities will notify the expat around April or May to settle his taxation for the previous year. This also applies to expats who buy a property in Switzerland and those who marry someone who has a permanent residency permit or Swiss nationality.
- When looking for the right accommodation, buying a property instead of renting might be a better option, even though buying a property in Switzerland is not a common thing. Instead, for entrepreneurs interested in having a company office in Switzerland, they should rather consider renting an office in a Swiss business center, as they can benefit from all the facilities provided by it, with lower costs.
- Public transportation is a better option than a car for which additional costs are involved: monthly insurance, cantonal tax, parking permit taxes, highway taxes and of course gas taxes. Bicycles also involve annual license purchases, so the Swiss public transport system is still the most economic option. Considered to be one of the best in the world, the Swiss public transportation is punctual and fast, and the best thing is that all the country’s public transportation companies are integrated in one system with one schedule and ticketing system.
- In Switzerland, the employers are likely to handle all salary related matters to the employee, this is why the idea to consult an accountancy firm, like Sig Fiduciare, might come in handy for the family finances.
With various work opportunities, high living standard, low unemployment rate and beautiful landscapes, Switzerland is considered to be the 4th best country to live in the entire world. But Switzerland is considered also a tax heaven for those companies who want to invest in the country and benefit from the numerous advantages the Swiss have to offer to the expats and entrepreneurs.