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Real Estate Gains Tax in Switzerland – How to benefit from it

The real estate gains tax is usually known to the Swiss. However, it can be assumed that only a few know exactly how it is calculated and when it occurs.
PrimeConsulting is a digital accounting company that has set itself the goal of advising you professionally on real estate sales. You will benefit from our many years of experience in this area.
As a local fiduciary company in Zurich, it is in our interest to advise you on all important points and thus contribute to the optimization of your proceeds when selling real estate.

What is the real estate gains tax?

The real estate gains tax is a special tax that is incurred if a net profit is incurred when a property from the private assets of a natural person is sold.
The seller must pay tax on this net profit. The tax is lower if the property has been in the possession of the seller for a long time. If the property is sold at a profit shortly after its acquisition, the real estate gains tax is high.
The aim of this tax is to put a stop to speculation with real estate so that it is difficult to achieve faster and large profits.
How high the tax is exactly after how many years of possession varies from canton to canton. It is therefore advisable to inform yourself about this before the sale.

What is net profit?

Net profit is the amount resulting from the difference between the selling price and investment costs. What the investment costs are exactly is described in detail in the laws of the respective canton. In the Canton of Zurich, the following are covered by the investment costs:

  • If the property has belonged to the seller for more than 20 years, the market value or purchase price of 20 years ago counts as the investment costs.
  • Permanently value-adding structural measures on the property and the building (e.B extensions, soil improvements and conversions), after deduction of all associated payments to insurance companies, municipality, federal government or canton.
  • Landowner contributions
  • Brokerage commission incurred when buying and selling
  • Costs for advertisements when buying and selling
  • Costs for changing hands when buying and selling

Real estate gains tax – Can it be deferred?

The tax is not always due immediately upon sale. If the seller invests the entire sales income within 2 years in a property in Switzerland that serves as a replacement for the property sold, the tax is deferred. However, this only applies if the newly acquired object is inhabited itself.
The postponement is similar in the case of an inheritance. If the property is bequeathed to the heir and the heir inhabits it himself, the tax is only due when the heir sells the property again. Unless the heir reinvests the proceeds of the sale in a replacement property in Switzerland that he himself inhabits. Also in this case, the payment of the real estate gains tax is postponed.

Real estate gains tax optimization – how can we help you?

As you can see, the deduction options that can lead to tax relief are a complex issue. They open up numerous opportunities for sellers, especially those of apartment buildings, to save taxes legally.
If the sale is carefully planned and the value-adding measures are carefully documented over all years, 5-digit, in the best case even 6-digit swiss franc amounts can be saved.
It is therefore advisable to get real estate or financial professionals on board to get the most out of the real estate sale.
If you need further information on the subject of property gains taxes, the competent team of PrimeConsulting in Zurich Oerlikon is at your disposal.


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