Switzerland has historically been a top destination for international contractors. English is widely spoken but the official languages of Switzerland are French, German, Italian and Rumantsch.
Switzerland is well located in the heart of Europe and enjoys many advantages of being part of the European Economic Area without actually having joined the European Union.
All residents of Switzerland, including the Swiss themselves, are required to register their presence with the local authorities. As soon as you live in Switzerland for 183 days you may be considered resident in Switzerland for tax purposes from the date of your arrival. Non-Residents are taxed only on Swiss source income where as residents may be taxed on worldwide income. The tax year and the calendar year run from January to December.
Income tax and social security taxes in Switzerland are quite high compared to the UK. The schedule of taxes in Switzerland is notoriously complex and there are different rates and bands dependent upon your personal circumstances and the canton in which you are living and payroll registration is mandatory.
It is always preferable for the first time resident in Switzerland to seek professional assistance when filing their tax returns.
The Contract Market
The majority of the contract market in Switzerland is based around the technological centres in Zurich, Geneva and Basle.
These centres are internationally renowned and have made many important breakthroughs. Switzerland also enjoys a vibrant financial sector.
Relocating to Switzerland
All of the key contracting locations have a wide range of good quality rental accommodation. Rental prices however are very high although the cost of living is around 10% lower than the UK.
Switzerland is also well known for its beautiful lakes and alpine views, making it an attractive place to live.
Traveling to Switzerland
Switzerland is very well located in the centre of Europe and is easily accessible by plane or rail.
It is also possible to travel to Switzerland by car from anywhere in Mainland Europe.