Give us an idea of your customer portfolio at Zuger Kantonalbank.
Our Tax Consulting team consists of five employees, and together we look after around 1,500 tax subjects, mostly from the Zug region and its neighbouring cantons. It’s a very broad spectrum: We have very young customers, pensioners, single people, married couples, employed as well as economically inactive people. In some cases we look after every individual in a family. There’s also very broad bandwidth of asset levels.
What motivates people to approach you for advice about their tax return?
Our customers value convenience on the one hand and professionalism on the other. They would rather spend their valuable free time with their family or pursuing a hobby than grappling with a tax declaration. Another reason is that keeping abreast of the latest developments and remaining on top of complex tax legislation is not all that easy. Nor is it just tax legislation itself that can change. Things are permanently changing in people’s lives too: marital status, a switch of residence to another canton, the purchase or sale of a property, a new investment portfolio, participation as an heir in an estate, disability, the death of one’s partner, etc. These are just a few examples of why completing a tax declaration can be challenging. For anyone who wants to avoid errors and claim every possible deduction, it makes sense to entrust the tax return obligation to a professional. It removes the burden of this procedure from the tax subject, gives them more time, and releases energy for the more pleasant things that life has to offer.
Do customers enjoy further benefits if they have their tax declaration prepared by Zuger Kantonalbank?
The Tax Consulting team at Zuger Kantonalbank has the advantage of already possessing plenty of information on our existing customers. For example, we have access to details of accounts, mortgages and investments, but also the purchase agreements of properties if these have been financed through us. Thanks to these synergies, customers can save time – as they don’t need to organise all the documentation and forward this on to us themselves. Furthermore, we can also identify transactions in account movements that will be relevant for the declaration obligation – such as expenses that are additionally deductible but would not otherwise be asked for. Nor is this just so that customers will pay less tax in certain situations. They can also avoid later inconvenience and the imposition of penalty taxes. But a key objective is obviously to help customers with tax optimisation. It’s often the case that the amount saved on tax will far outstrip the costs of this tax service.
In addition to preparing tax declarations, what other tax services do you offer?
Along with ordinary tax returns, we also draw up tax declarations upon the death of individual, or else when someone leaves Switzerland or moves to another canton, and in connection with capital gains on a property. Our standard services also always include a final review of any tax assessments by the tax authorities. Furthermore, we assist our customers with the submission of objections or self-declarations. And it goes without saying that we will also happily respond to individual enquiries relating to a personal tax situation. Last but not least, we undertake the process of reclaiming foreign taxes at source for both natural persons and legal entities.
Declarations for the 2021 tax period will soon be due. Have there been any changes in Canton Zug that we should be mindful of?
The cantonal tax coefficient for the tax periods 2021 through to 2023 was reduced from 82% to 80% as a measure to combat the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, tax subjects in Canton Zug can now benefit from a lasting increase in personal deductions, as well as from the expansion and simplification of the rental cost deduction. There has also been a change in tax legislation relevant for foreigners who are taxed at source. From now on, tax subjects who earn less than CHF 120,000 and are not taxed at source may also apply for a tax declaration and therefore benefit from the subsequent ordinary taxation process. This procedure replaces are the current tariff correction procedure. If the application for a subsequent ordinary tax assessment is not submitted on time, tax at source then becomes definitive.
«Do you have your own hairdresser? Then why not have your own tax advisor? It would make your life easier.»
Pavla Furrer, Zuger Kantonalbank