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TAXES

EXPLAINED: How to get an extension on your tax deadline in Switzerland

The tax deadline has already passed in much of Switzerland - but if you haven't lodged yet, here's how you can get an extension.

EXPLAINED: How to get an extension on your tax deadline in Switzerland
You can request tax extension from your canton. Photo by Claudio Schwartz / Unsplash

If your tax return is prepared by an accounting firm, they automatically file every year for extension for all their clients.

You should have received a confirmation letter or email from the firm to that effect.

But if you prepare your tax declaration yourself and you won’t be able to meet the deadline, you must ask the tax authorities in your canton of residence for extension.

These requests are almost always granted.

While in some places you will have to submit the request in writing, in most cases you can do so online.

How do you go about it?

This website has a window where you can insert your postal code. It then leads you to a cantonal site where there is a link which you can click to see how you can submit your request and what information you need to supply.

Each canton has its own rules, but in most cases you will have to include the bar code included with the tax paperwork your canton sent you.

Again, depending on your canton of residence, the extension will be given until May 31st, June 30th, or July 31st.

Here’s the list.

May 31st: Appenzell-Ausserrhoden, Basel-City, Geneva, Luzern, Schwyz, St. Gallen, Uri, Valais, and Zurich.

June 30th: Aargau, Basel-Country, Fribourg, Nidwalden, Schaffhausen, Ticino, Vaud, and Zug.

July 31st: Jura and Solothurn.

Only one canton, Bern, allows extensions until September 15th.

To date no general extension has been announced by Graubünden, Neuchâtel, Appenzell-Innerrhoden, Thurgau, Glarus, and Obwalden.

You can contact these cantons directly.

Keep in mind that these rules apply only to permanent residents.

Non-residents and cross-border workers have their taxes deducted directly from their payroll each month, a system called taxation at source, or withholding tax.

READ MORE: Tax rules cross-border workers in Switzerland need to know

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For members

LIVING IN SWITZERLAND

REVEALED: The Swiss cities turning off their lights for weekend meteor shower

The Perseids is one of the best annual meteor showers, showing their fireballs on warm summer nights in the northern hemisphere. In Switzerland, some towns want to make the event even more special by turning off their lights.

REVEALED: The Swiss cities turning off their lights for weekend meteor shower

Every year, skywatchers get ready for the Perseid meteor shower, which in 2022 is going to peak in the early hours of Saturday, just before dawn. At its peak, it will be possible to see about 200 shooting starts per hour if the conditions are optimal.

The Perseids, as this particular meteor shower is known, are fragments of the comet Swift-Tuttle. Its small dust particles (not actual stars) burn up when they enter Earth’s atmosphere at high speed. They can be observed worldwide but are best viewed in the northern hemisphere.

READ ALSO: Five beautiful Swiss villages located near Alpine lakes

And they may be in large parts of Switzerland. Despite the full moon blocking some of the views (don’t worry, the moon should set at around 2 am), the skies should be clear of clouds during the early hours of Saturday, according to the Swiss meteorology agency MeteoSchweiz.

Some cities also want to remove another major obstacle to stargazing: the artificial lightning that hides most of our stars, the Milky Way, and many shooting stars. The Projet Perseides invites Swiss towns to turn off municipal lights and incentivise stargazing.

The project, created in the French-speaking cantons, has gathered support mainly in western Swiss, but, according to the organisers: “Ultimately, we are targeting the whole of Europe”.

Which cities are participating?

You can find the complete list of municipalities here. The communes include Champagne, Grandson, La Chaux, Lausanne, Neuchâtel, Provence, Yverdon-les-Bains, Fribourg, and more than 100 others.

The project invites the municipalities to turn off their public lightning and convince citizens and businesses to do the same – all voluntarily.

READ ALSO: Travel: What are the best night train routes to and from Switzerland?

Projet Perseides started in Orbe in 2019 when the non-profit association convinced the town and surrounding municipalities to turn out the lights. In 2020, nearly 120 Vaud cities joined the project. The following year, they were joined by cities in Valais, Fribourg and Neuchâtel, according to the site.

What if my city is not among them?

Even if your city is not a part of the project, it is still possible to watch the phenomenon. The best time would be between 2 am (when the bright full moon sets) and pre-dawn hours, so until around 5 am.

The association says: “to enjoy the night, don’t look at light sources. Let your eyes become accustomed to the darkness”. This includes ditching your phone for a few hours.

If you can visit a part of town with little artificial light, perhaps going up a mountain, for example, you also improve your chances of seeing more of the shower.

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