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Find out how the new directives for tax deductions under the OPP3 ordinance can allow you to make significant tax savings.

Tax return:

overview of the main deductions


P.For the calculation of the tax amount due, the taxable income of the taxpayer is decisive. In the tax return it is possible to assert various deductions, in order to reduce the taxable income and, with this, also the tax amount to be paid.

While the same deductions are made for direct federal taxes throughout Switzerland, those applicable at cantonal and municipal level are regulated differently for each canton.


The cantons and communes generally orient themselves on the basis of federal tax deductions as regards the type of deduction. As for the amount of the deduction, however, as also for  the tax rate, there are big differences.


For the specificities on the deductible amounts, it is good to take into account the "Directives on the tax return" of the individual cantons. As a general rule, the rule is that if you want to make a deduction, you must attach the corresponding supporting documents.

Below is an overview of the main deductions:

Professional expenses

Employees can deduct expenses related to the profession, such as costs to go to work, which generally include passes for public transport and flat rates for bicycles or small mopeds. Under certain conditions, it is also possible to claim the distance traveled in kilometers if you use a private car to go to work.

Food away from home: 

If it is not possible to go home for lunch, for example, the expenses that arise can be deducted from the income within certain limits. Deductions are also possible for night work or night shifts.


Other professional expenses:

For other professional expenses such as, for example, professional clothes, work tools e  specialist literature, a flat-rate deduction is provided. If the real costs exceed the lump sum, and if it can be demonstrated, the taxpayer can deduct the real costs.


Maintenance contributions 

Maintenance contributions and child or partner alimony can be deducted.

Payments into the 3rd pillar - Payments into pillar 3a can be deducted from taxable income up to the maximum amount established by law on the basis of the OPP3 ordinance.

Interest on debts 

Interest on loans, such as mortgages, bank loans or private loans, can be deducted from income. However, this only applies to interest, not to the amounts that are used to repay the loan (amortization), unless this is done indirectly via a 3. pillar. Leasing costs cannot be deducted.


Insurance premiums and interest on savings capital

The premiums for health, accident, old-age and life insurance, as well as interest and annuities on savings capital, can be deducted within the limit of the maximum amount.

Withholding tax 

When interest is credited to a bank account or savings account, 35% is withheld as withholding tax in certain cases. The same thing happens for bond income, stock dividends or lottery winnings. If these amounts are entered on the tax return, the withholding tax is refunded.

Contributions to political parties

The members of a party can deduct donations and contributions respecting the limit of a maximum amount.

Amounts to public benefit organizations 

Donations to charitable organizations can be deducted.

Collection of pension fund benefits 

Anyone who decides to draw benefits from the pension fund can deduct the corresponding amount from tax.


Additional expenses due to disability

Disabled people can claim certain deductions for additional expenses . 

Profitable income of the spouse

If both spouses are working, a deduction is allowed respecting the limit of a maximum amount.

Costs for health and accidents 

Expenses for medical services can be deducted if they exceed a certain limit.

Deductions for children 

For each child under age and / or in training, it is possible to make a deduction based on specific parameters.


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