Individual Taxation

Possible implementation of a uniform lump-sum tax deduction for employed persons

At its meeting of November 17, 2021, the Federal Council instructed the Federal Department of Finance to draft a bill for the introduction of a uniform lump-sum tax deduction for employed persons.

In August 2020, the Ryser Motion (20.3844, Steuerliche Gleichbehandlung von Telearbeit) requested that the current definition of tax-deductible professional expenses for dependent gainful employment be adjusted for direct federal tax purposes. Accordingly, provided that a private study is used for home office activities for at least 2 days per week, the costs for this room should be deductible. Under current law, the costs for the home office room are part of the lump-sum deduction “other professional expenses”. If higher costs are claimed, the taxpayer must prove that a substantial part of the professional work has to be done regularly from home because, for example, no workplace is provided by the employer.

Due to an increase in home office activity, the Federal Council has recognised that an adjustment of the current regulation is necessary. The Federal Council has commissioned an ad-hoc working group, set up by the Federal Tax Administration, to examine a possible new regulation in terms of lump-sum deductions.

Based on the report “Mögliche Neuregelung der Berufskosten von unselbständig Erwerbenden“, dependent employees could in future either choose a lump-sum deduction for all professional expenses (e.g. meals, travel costs, other professional expenses) or claim the actual costs. In the case of the lump sum, it is not necessary to provide proof of individual expense items. This means that people working from home could claim the lump-sum deduction, even if no costs are incurred for meals or/and travel. When claiming the actual costs, the current travel expense deductions limit would continue to apply (max. CHF 3,000 for direct federal taxes and the respective cantonal maximum amounts). A bill to this effect is now being drafted.

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