You find yourself every year in the same situation: When you finally get to completing your tax declaration, you are confronted with the topic of “work-related expenses”. This automatically raises the questions: Which work-related costs are tax deductible and how I can claim those deductions? To clarify these questions once and for all, we have prepared the following checklist for you:

Travel expenses

Cost of travel to your work can be deducted in your tax calculation. If you use public transport, you can deduct the effective costs. The use of the private car may also be deducted, but only if one or more of the following conditions apply:

  • It saves you at least one hour per day
  • Your employer requires the use of your car
  • Health reasons

If at least one of these conditions applies, you may deduct 0.70 Swiss francs per journey kilometer. For motorcycles and bicycles, you may make a flat deduction of 700 Swiss francs annually.

Meals

Regarding the deductions for meals, there are three possibilities:

  • If you are close to your home and eat at home, you cannot make any deductions
  • If you receive an allowance from the employer (e.g. canteen), you can only claim a lump sum of 1600 Swiss francs annually
  • If you do not receive an allowance from the employer for meals, you can claim the full flat rate of 3200 Swiss francs annually

Other work-related expenses

Other work-related expenses at federal level are covered up to 3 % of your net salary – a minimum of 2000 Swiss francs, and a maximum of 4000 Swiss francs. At cantonal and municipal levels, work-related costs are regulated differently. This package includes, among other things, the costs for home office, non-remunerated expenses or specialist literature and tools. As a general rule, the category “other work-related expenses” includes all expenses which are work-related but paid privately and employer did not make any remuneration for those costs. If your effective costs are higher than the lump sum, then you can deduct them in your tax form.

Training and retraining costs

You may deduct the training and retraining costs in your tax calculation up to 500 Swiss francs annually without supporting documents. If your expenses for further training or retraining exceed this amount, you can deduct effective costs you had.

Additional costs for living apart during the working week

If you have the status of living apart during the working week, you can deduct additional costs from the taxes. This includes your overnights, the rent of the second accommodation, as well as transport costs between the place of your residence and your second accommodation. You are always liable to pay taxes in the place of your residence.

Side income

If you have a side job, you may deduct 20% of your side income (at least 800 Swiss francs up to a maximum of Swiss 2400 francs) as work-related costs.

We can offer you

Steuerzentrum will give you advice on work-related expenses and help you get most out of your taxes. Thanks to our professional services, you save time and pay taxes less.