Income tax declaration in Switzerland

Applicable à
General

This procedure is intended to provide members of the personnel of Swiss nationality or residing in Switzerland with general information on how financial and family benefits paid by CERN or subsistence allowances processed by CERN on behalf of a third-party account (renamed "cost-of-living allowances" since 1 January 2021) should be indicated on their income tax declaration form.

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 financial and family benefits paid by CERN.

Subsistence allowance and cost-of-living allowance are not subject to internal taxation.

For any other income, members of personnel are invited to comply with the Swiss legislation and instructions attached to the form or to contact their tax office.

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 staff members benefiting from CERN unemployment insurance scheme.​

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


For specific questions regarding tax declaration, members of personnel are requested to contact their tax office directly.

Procédure

The information below will help you to complete your declaration. The declaration must be signed and returned to the competent tax office within the deadline set by the cantonal tax authorities (see section 2). The declaration can also be completed online using the e-declaration platform of the canton of residence.

1. Swiss and non-Swiss members of the personnel

1.1 Swiss members of the personnel

Swiss members of the personnel receiving financial and family benefits paid by CERN must indicate the amount of the internal tax base (total amount specified in Section A of the Internal tax annual certificate for the year concerned) in the box "revenu d’activité dépendante" of the income tax declaration form. They 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.

With regard to the declaration of the cost-of-living allowance, CERN is awaiting clarification from the Swiss authorities. Do not hesitate to ask your tax office for advice.  

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 receiving financial and family benefits paid by CERN are normally not required to complete an income tax declaration form.

However, all members of personnel, resident in Switzerland and of non-Swiss nationality, are required to complete a tax declaration, in certain cases, for example:

  • if they own real-estate or
  • if they receive income from any other source of gainful employment in Switzerland or
  • if their spouse is Swiss or owns real-estate in Switzerland, or
  • if their spouse is in gainful employment (even if the spouse has a Ci permit) or
  • if their spouse 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.

In the event that a declaration has to be completed:

  • it is not necessary, for members of the personnel receiving financial and family benefits paid by CERN, to mention them nor to attach the Internal tax annual certificate.
  • Members of the personnel 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). 

With regard to the declaration of the cost-of-living allowance, CERN is awaiting clarification from the Swiss authorities. Do not hesitate to ask your tax office for advice. 

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.

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

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 1.1 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, receiving financial and family benefits paid by CERN, 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, à ce titre, exonéré d’impôt sur les prestations financières et familiales versées par le CERN” (a member of the CERN personnel subject to internal CERN taxation since 1st January 2005 and therefore exempt from taxation on financial and family benefits paid by CERN).

2. Deadlines and requests for an extension of the deadline

The deadlines for returning the online or paper declaration must be respected. An extension of the deadline for returning the declaration may be asked to the competent tax office if necessary. 

Canton of Geneva Declaration forms must generally be returned by 31st March. Requests for an extension of the deadline: Demander un délai pour ma déclaration | ge.ch
Canton of Vaud Declaration forms must generally be returned by 15 March. Requests for an extension of the deadline: Calendrier fiscal 2021 - VD.CH
Canton of Valais Declaration forms must generally be returned by 31st March. Requests for an extension of the deadline: https://www.vs.ch/web/scc/personnes-physiques
Canton of Fribourg Declaration forms must generally be returned by 31st March. Requests for an extension of the deadline: Obtenir un délai pour le dépôt de sa déclaration | État de Fribourg

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.

Révisions
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
5 Revision following the implementation of the individual annual statement. 16.02.2021
6 Revision following new information given by the Swiss authorities 22.02.2021

General

This procedure is intended to provide members of the personnel of Swiss nationality or residing in Switzerland with general information on how financial and family benefits paid by CERN or subsistence allowances processed by CERN on behalf of a third-party account (renamed "cost-of-living allowances" since 1 January 2021) should be indicated on their income tax declaration form.

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 financial and family benefits paid by CERN.

Subsistence allowance and cost-of-living allowance are not subject to internal taxation.

For any other income, members of personnel are invited to comply with the Swiss legislation and instructions attached to the form or to contact their tax office.

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 staff members benefiting from CERN unemployment insurance scheme.​

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


For specific questions regarding tax declaration, members of personnel are requested to contact their tax office directly.

Procedure

The information below will help you to complete your declaration. The declaration must be signed and returned to the competent tax office within the deadline set by the cantonal tax authorities (see section 2). The declaration can also be completed online using the e-declaration platform of the canton of residence.

1. Swiss and non-Swiss members of the personnel

1.1 Swiss members of the personnel

Swiss members of the personnel receiving financial and family benefits paid by CERN must indicate the amount of the internal tax base (total amount specified in Section A of the Internal tax annual certificate for the year concerned) in the box "revenu d’activité dépendante" of the income tax declaration form. They 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.

With regard to the declaration of the cost-of-living allowance, CERN is awaiting clarification from the Swiss authorities. Do not hesitate to ask your tax office for advice.  

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 receiving financial and family benefits paid by CERN are normally not required to complete an income tax declaration form.

However, all members of personnel, resident in Switzerland and of non-Swiss nationality, are required to complete a tax declaration, in certain cases, for example:

  • if they own real-estate or
  • if they receive income from any other source of gainful employment in Switzerland or
  • if their spouse is Swiss or owns real-estate in Switzerland, or
  • if their spouse is in gainful employment (even if the spouse has a Ci permit) or
  • if their spouse 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.

In the event that a declaration has to be completed:

  • it is not necessary, for members of the personnel receiving financial and family benefits paid by CERN, to mention them nor to attach the Internal tax annual certificate.
  • Members of the personnel 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). 

With regard to the declaration of the cost-of-living allowance, CERN is awaiting clarification from the Swiss authorities. Do not hesitate to ask your tax office for advice. 

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.

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

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 1.1 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, receiving financial and family benefits paid by CERN, 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, à ce titre, exonéré d’impôt sur les prestations financières et familiales versées par le CERN” (a member of the CERN personnel subject to internal CERN taxation since 1st January 2005 and therefore exempt from taxation on financial and family benefits paid by CERN).

2. Deadlines and requests for an extension of the deadline

The deadlines for returning the online or paper declaration must be respected. An extension of the deadline for returning the declaration may be asked to the competent tax office if necessary. 

Canton of Geneva Declaration forms must generally be returned by 31st March. Requests for an extension of the deadline: Demander un délai pour ma déclaration | ge.ch
Canton of Vaud Declaration forms must generally be returned by 15 March. Requests for an extension of the deadline: Calendrier fiscal 2021 - VD.CH
Canton of Valais Declaration forms must generally be returned by 31st March. Requests for an extension of the deadline: https://www.vs.ch/web/scc/personnes-physiques
Canton of Fribourg Declaration forms must generally be returned by 31st March. Requests for an extension of the deadline: Obtenir un délai pour le dépôt de sa déclaration | État de Fribourg

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
5 Revision following the implementation of the individual annual statement. 16.02.2021
6 Revision following new information given by the Swiss authorities 22.02.2021