Taxes are levied at three different levels in Switzerland. Taxes on income are levied at federal level, with a uniform tax rate applying across Switzerland for this federal taxation. The 26 cantons and the 2,400 or so municipalities also levy taxes on income as well as on wealth. Tax rates vary between cantons and municipalities, which is typical of Switzerland’s federalist structure.
This means that tax levels will also depend on where the taxpayer lives. The tax burden in the canton of Zurich could be described as moderate in relation to both the rest of Switzerland and other countries.
Swiss nationals are subject to what is known as statutory assessment, which is based on an annual self-declaration. Taxpayers must submit a tax return once a year, after which they will receive a tax bill from the tax authority to be paid by the end of the year.
Foreign nationals (without a C permit) are subject to withholding tax. Tax is deducted directly from salary on a monthly basis, and employers pass these taxes on to the relevant tax authority in Switzerland.