Adjustment of the withholding tax: the shock interview of Romain Clapier

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    Romain Clapier is the founder of Allo-Déclaration Suisse, a company specialising in the taxation of cross-border workers and foreign residents. In the middle of tax season, he sounds the alarm: too many taxpayers subject to withholding tax still neglect their tax adjustment.

    The consequence? They lose a lot of money! Discover his interview.

    Why are taxpayers subject to withholding tax losing money?

    I observe two different situations most of the time: some taxpayers subject to withholding tax do make a rectification d’impôt, but in many cases this adjustment does not take all the possibilities into account. 

    Others do not make any adjustments at all, either out of ignorance, or because they do not take the time to look into their tax situation, or because they have "preconceived ideas".

    In any case, these people do not know it, but they are losing money, because they could, for some of them, recover more or just a part of their tax at source.

    Is it not possible to do the tax rectification yourself?

    Of course you can! But even if you are well informed, even if you know the cas les plus avantageux pour récupérer l’impôt à la source, you usually miss out, as cantonal tax laws change regularly. 

    And this year in particular with the new tax law in force for 2021 in the canton of Geneva and the harmonisation of the withholding tax at federal level.

    And that's without taking into account the risk of error: even if the cantonal administrations show understanding when there are errors, the risk of being amended is not completely zero. 

    Can anyone get money back with a rectification?

    No. But there are more cases of people who can recover than those who cannot. 

    The most important thing is to be sure. And nothing is better for this than to go through a professional, who will be able to tell you quickly what the situation is. This is clearly our job.

    What criteria should we pay attention to for tax rectification?

    Taxpayers who are married with a spouse who is an employee, taxpayers with children, taxpayers with dual residence, etc.

    We can, in less than 10 minutes and with a few questions, immediately determine whether you have a good chance of recovering the withholding tax.

    During this discussion, we also determine whether a quasi-resident tax return may also be of interest, in which case the criteria are different and concern, for example, high mortgage interest, major renovation costs etc.

    There is often talk of withholding tax and quasi-resident tax: which is more interesting?

    One does not replace the other. They are just two different devices. The rectification allows one to change one's tax scale to correspond to a more real situation, and the quasi-resident declaration allows one to deduct a certain number of expenses from one's tax.

    Is it possible to have to pay more tax than we have already paid?

    Yes, and this is another reason why it is important to be well informed, because if it turns out that a taxpayer has to pay more than he has already paid in source tax, the cantonal administration will eventually ask him for the money. This concerns both the rectification and the quasi-resident declaration. So, it is better to be prepared, to know where you are going, and to anticipate.

    Romain Clapier

    I am the founder ofAllo-Déclaration Suisse, a tax return service available to all. I am a Swiss certified accountant. I know perfectly well the Swiss and French problems linked to the taxation of individuals and in particular those of cross-border workers. I have also developed a service that enables me to check the accuracy of CMU (CNTFS) contributions paid by cross-border commuters.

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