Income tax declaration in Switzerland

Applicable to:  Members of the personnel

General

The Organization levies an internal tax, calculated with CERN scale, on the financial and family benefits it pays to the members of the personnel. The members of the personnel are exempt from federal, cantonal and communal taxation on salaries and emoluments paid by CERN.

This page is intended to provide members of the personnel of Swiss nationality or residing in Switzerland with general information on how financial and family benefits or occasional subsistence allowances (the latter concerning certain associated members of the personnel) should be indicated in the income declaration form.

For any other income, they are invited to comply with the instructions attached to the form or to contact their tax office.

Procedure

The income tax declaration form must be completed in accordance with the instructions provided by the Swiss authorities set out below, then signed and returned to the competent tax office.

You may ask your tax office for an extension of the deadline for returning the form if you are not yet in possession of all the documents needed to complete it in the deadline decided by the canton tax administration.

N.B.: 

  • CERN pensioners:

CERN pensioners are taxed under the common law system, including the CERN pension. This procedure does not therefore apply to them.

  • Former members of the personnel benefiting from CERN unemployment insurance benefits​

Unemployment insurance benefits paid to former CERN members of personnel are taxed under the common law system. This procedure does not therefore apply to this income.

If you have any specific questions regarding tax declaration, please contact your tax office directly.

1. Swiss and non-Swiss members of the personnel

1.1 Swiss members of the personnel

Swiss members of the personnel must indicate the amount of salary and emoluments paid by CERN - it is the total amount specified in Section A of the annual internal taxation certificate for the year concerned - and must attach this certificate to their declaration. They must also indicate the amount of any other income and assets, in accordance with the instructions accompanying the declaration form.

N.B.: Swiss members of the personnel who have already submitted their declaration but did not attach the above-mentioned certificate to it must send the certificate to their tax office immediately.

1.2 Non-Swiss members of the personnel

Non-Swiss members of the personnel are not normally required to complete an income tax declaration form. They need do so only in certain cases, for example

  • if they own real-estate or receive income from any other source of gainful employment in Switzerland or
  • if their spouse is Swiss or owns real-estate in Switzerland, is in gainful employment or has movable assets or related income in Switzerland or
  • if they receive any income (other than from CERN), including from outside Switzerland, liable for income tax in Switzerland.

Individuals covered by the above-mentioned cases must refer to the instructions provided by the tax offices, in particular on their websites (for example: "Remplir ma déclaration fiscale" République et canton de Genève). 

Anyone who does not automatically receive an income tax declaration form, but who is obliged to declare income that is taxable under Swiss law, must contact their tax office to obtain the form.
It is not necessary to indicate the salary and emoluments paid by CERN, nor to attach the annual internal taxation certificate.

1.3 Swiss members of the personnel domiciled in France

Swiss members of the personnel domiciled in France are not subject to Swiss taxation except if they have movable assets or related income in Switzerland (for example, they own real-estate in Switzerland). In this case, they must fill the declaration as described in point 1 above.

Those who receive the declaration form by error, even though they don't have anymore any movable assets or related income in Switzerland, must contact their tax office.

In all cases, both Swiss and non-Swiss members of the personnel are advised to state, either in the “Comments” section at the end of the income declaration form or on a separate sheet of paper if the form does not contain such a section, that they are “membre du personnel du CERN assujetti à l’impôt interne du CERN et donc exonéré d’impôt sur les traitements et émoluments versés par le CERN” (a member of the CERN personnel subject to internal CERN taxation since 1st January 2005 and therefore exempt from taxation on the salary and emoluments paid by CERN).

N.B.: To determine the tax scale applicable to your spouse, where relevant, visit the Cantonal tax administration website or contact your tax office.

2. Requests for an extension of the deadline

Members of the CERN personnel who have received or may yet receive an income tax declaration form may ask the competent tax office for an extension of the deadline for returning the form. This year, a tolerance period (without specific request) in connection with COVID-19 has been set by the different cantons:

Canton of Geneva Declaration forms must generally be returned by 31st March. An extension is tolerated up to 31 May 2020.
Canton of Vaud Declaration forms must generally be returned by 15 March. An extension is tolerated up to 30 June 2020.
Canton of Valais Declaration forms must generally be returned by 31st March. An extension is tolerated up to 31 May 2020.
Canton of Fribourg Declaration forms must generally be returned by 31st March. An extension is tolerated up to 30 June 2020.

3. Special Case

Associated members of the personnel who are resident in Switzerland but paid by a French home institute may also be required to complete a tax declaration form in France. They should contact the Centre des impôts des particuliers non-résidents (SIPNR) : 10 rue du Centre - TSA 10010 - 93465 Noisy-le-Grand Cedex – France.

Revisions 

No revision Modifications Approved
1 Clarification of the procedure. 31.01.2018
2 A new approach to the annual internal tax certificates will be introduced as of 2020 for MPAs. 05.03.2019
3 Update of the 2020 tax return deadline due to covid-19 29.04.2020
4 Update following re-issuing internal tax certificates to MPA that received financial certificate in February 2020. 29.04.2020