To reduce the outstanding amount owed by taxpayers, Basel’s parliament is discussing imposing income tax at source. Vaud is considering a similar plan.
Every year, the canton Basel-City has to chase around 15,000 outstanding tax bills amounting to a total of CHF 80 million. According to the newspaper NZZ, getting employers to deduct tax from salaries before they are paid is one solution currently on the table.
The plan would involve employers deducting 10% from gross salaries, which would be sent directly to the tax office. Workers would have the option of opting out. The idea, put forward by a socialist member of Basel’s parliament two years ago will be discussed this week.
According to the NZZ, one in 10 taxpayers has a tax debt and such a system could reduce this problem and provide a more stable stream of income to the canton. Ernst Fehr, professor of economics at Zurich University thinks it’s a better deal for both taxpayers and the tax authorities.
In Vaud a voluntary system could be put in place by 2020, according to Pascal Broulis, the canton’s finance chief.
The commune of Locle in the canton of Neuchâtel already offers this option to commune employees, which has been taken up by 10% of staff. The commune’s main objective was to reduce young people’s debts.
In some cantons, foreigners without C-permits are already subject to tax at source.
The cantons of Bern and Zurich are also looking at doing something similar.
In Valais a similar proposal was rejected last week for fear of excessive bureaucracy.