Persons who retain their family residence abroad and stay in Switzerland solely for the purpose of working are considered international weekly residents. Their residence is primarily due to their employment in Switzerland or the respective canton. International weekly residents have to meet the following requirements cumulatively:
- Employed in Switzerland
- Center of life – and thus their tax residence – abroad (lack of C permit as an indication)
- Cannot be expected to return daily to their center of life abroad (not cross-border worker with a daily return to the foreign residence)
- Having an apartment in Switzerland for the purpose of staying during the week
- Being taxed at source
International weekly residents are entitled to supplementary deductions in addition to the usual deductions for source taxed persons. The most important of these are the allocation of days worked abroad, the effective travel costs for the regular return home and the costs for accommodation in Switzerland, though there remain different cantonal practices. Specifically the first option can lead to major refunds, especially if an international weekly resident worked mainly from outside of Switzerland.
In order to make use of these additional deductions or to have a chance at a tax refund, in most cantons an application for a new assessment of withholding taxes must be submitted. This process is described in more detail in our article Tax Optimization for B-Permit Residents. In particular, it should be noted that the tax authorities are increasingly generous with the first submission deadline, as taxpayers often only become aware of their status after the deadline has expired. It should also be stated that some specific documents (such as work calendars) need to be submitted that are quite difficult to obtain without professional support. We have a handful of templates especially for international weekly residents, which are designed according to the requirements of the respective cantons.