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Finances

Currency | Salaries | Taxes | Paying bills
 

Currency

As Switzerland is not a member of the European Union, it uses as its everyday currency the Swiss franc (CHF). In large stores, to allow comparisons, prices are often indicated in both CHF and Euros. It is possible to pay in Euros, however your change will be returned to you in CHF. Credit cards are accepted in most shops and restaurants.

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Salaries

The average salary in Switzerland is, objectively speaking, high. To have a clear idea of what your salary corresponds to, you should take into consideration two aspects: in the first place, the high cost of living, and, secondly, the salary structure.

In Switzerland, social security charges payable by employers are less than those of most European countries, as some costs are not taken into account in salaries. Health Insurance, for example, is payable in full by the employee. You must therefore, by yourself and regardless of your salary, pay your health insurance contribution separately.

How to proceed

For any questions or problems concerning your salary, please do not hesitate to contact the Human Resources Department of the UNIL.

Service des Ressources Humaines
Université de Lausanne
Château de Dorigny
CH-1015 Lausanne
Phone: +41 (0)21 692 45 00
Fax: +41 (0)21 692 45 05

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Taxes

Persons who are not holders of a C residence permit, but are domiciled or staying in Switzerland are, under tax law, subject to the payment of a withholding tax at source. However, if one of the spouses has the Swiss nationality, holds a C residence permit or is considered political refugee, the married couple will be subject of the ordinary tax procedure (tax declaration) and not of the tax at source. For people arriving from abroad during the fiscal year, their tax liability starts on the date of their arrival. Income tax is fixed and paid for each fiscal period. The fiscal period corresponds to the calendar year.

The Council of State determines the scale of amounts withheld according to the rates of income tax for natural persons, i.e. individuals. The same tax rate withheld at source applies throughout the Canton. The amounts withheld include cantonal and municipal taxes. The municipal tax is paid taking into account the average municipal fiscal charge. The tax withheld at source substitutes the cantonal and municipal taxes paid under the ordinary procedure for earnings from gainful employment.

Information and data for the Canton of Vaud:

Administration cantonale vaudoise des impôts (Impôts source)
Route de Berne 46
1014 Lausanne
Phone: +41 (0)21 316 21 21

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Paying bills

To pay your everyday bills, all service providers (telephone, utilities, etc) will send an invoice accompanied by a payment slip (French acronym: BVR - bulletin de versement) to your home. To pay, various procedures can be followed:

  • go to the nearest Post Office and pay in the amount due together with the duly completed BVR; the Post office will then make the payment for you to your supplier
  • complete a mail payment order and forward it to your bank (either by mail, or by going personally to your bank)
  • make the payment using the Internet service offered by your bank or the Post Office (e-banking)

For regular payments of the same sum (health insurance, rent, etc), you have two possibilities:

  • a standing order, or an automatic transfer order
  • or the LSV (in German, Lastschriftverfahren) system: a prior authorisation that you grant to your supplier allowing them to withdraw a sum directly from your account

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Château de Dorigny  -  CH-1015 Lausanne  - Switzerland  -  Phone +41 21 692 20 20  -  Fax  +41 21 692 20 05