Anita Fringer * hadn’t noticed at first. In the case of the single mother from the canton of Aargau, the tax authorities assessed the taxable income as significantly higher than she had stated on the tax return. For almost 17,000 francs – and that with an annual income of 30,000 francs.
This was only noticed much later by her tax advisor Anton Kopp * (name changed). What happened to Anita Fringer is not an isolated incident. For example, Kopp reports on a craftsman who has received a corrected assessment for years and therefore pays 1,000 francs more tax per year than he actually ought to – and that with a taxable annual income of 29,000 francs.
How does home office work with taxes?
If the tax authorities tacitly increase income, it can have dramatic consequences, especially for low-income earners. Reduced premiums for health insurance, advances for children’s alimony and reduced rent can be at risk. Daycare centers can demand a higher tariff, contributions for the AHV / IV are retrospectively adjusted and billed.
What is the minimum
There are numerous reasons why the tax authorities assessed the income higher, says Kurt Weiss from the responsible tax office in Frick AG. “Especially with the self-employed there are always uncertainties in the accounting.” First, try to clear up these discrepancies in a personal exchange. “Offsetting in the assessment should be the last solution – and it always takes place within the framework of the tax law.”
How much time is left for direct contact, especially in urban control circles, is questionable. In any case, Anita Fringer was not contacted.
Many of his customers are overwhelmed with taxes, observes tax advisor Kopp more and more often. “They do not understand the processes in detail and do not know how to react correctly.” In addition, the skewers are unequal in length. Taxpayers only have 30 days to object to the assessment. Conversely, the authorities can trace tax omissions for another ten years.
In the case of Anita Fringer, Kopp raised an objection in good time. And received a surprising answer: If she can get by on so little money, she must be able to prove it. “My customer had to prove something that couldn’t be proven.”
The minimum subsistence level in Switzerland is currently 14,400 francs per year. According to tax advisor Kopp, various tax authorities are assuming a minimum of 36,000 francs. “If you are below this, your income is not infrequently simply corrected,” says Kopp.
Kurt Weiss from the tax office in Frick doubts that. “I don’t think that this is simply calculated willfully.” In the canton of Aargau, the tax system automatically makes an asset comparison, which may already result in an inconsistency. In certain cases, you have to calculate anew year after year. The reason is that the tax return can be filled out electronically and the data from the previous year can be automatically transferred. “If something is wrong there, it is always wrong.”
Years ago, an unskilled worker from the Zurich community of Dürnten was right after much back and forth: for years he was overestimated because he was unable to file a tax return because of his dyslexia. The observer had uncovered the case, and in the end the community had to compensate him with 250,000 francs. Why it was rated so immensely high was not really understandable until the end.
In order to avoid such extreme cases, tax advisor Anton Kopp recommends seeking help in supposedly clear tax situations. Kurt Weiss from the Frick Tax Office advises you to contact the authorities. “Doing nothing is the worst.” This only sets the next state measure in motion. And then the risk is even greater that the overview will be lost for good.
* Name known to the editors
This article was taken from the magazine “Observer”. You can find more exciting articles at www.beobachter.ch
Published: 03/27/2021, 1:17 p.m.
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