As a homeowner, here’s what should you should be thinking about when filling out your tax return.
Lucerne is now the only canton which does not all the selection of a flat-rate home-maintenance allowance
In connection with tax-deductible maintenance expenses, all other cantons allow the selection of this allowance. In other words, with the exception of the Canton of Lucerne, homeowners everywhere can now choose each year whether they want to take a flat-rate allowance for property maintenance or deduct the actual maintenance expenses.
In 2012 the electorate will decide on two initiatives dealing with home ownership savings plans
A tax-advantaged home ownership savings plan is the subject of two citizens’ initiatives. The Federal Council has spoken out against tax-advantaged home ownership savings plans. In contrast to the initiative from the Canton of Basel-Land, the Homeowners’ Association (HEV) initiative proposes the obligatory introduction of home ownership savings plans throughout Switzerland in order to harmonise tax law, and it is limited to the core purpose of saving for a home without including funds for energy-saving construction. On 11 March 2012, there will be a public referendum vote on the first initiative dealing with home ownership savings plans, which was submitted from the Canton of Basel-Land, and it is expected there will also be a referendum vote on 17 June 2012 on the second initiative from HEV Schweiz.
Abolition of taxation on imputed rental value
The taxation of imputed rental value has long been disputed. The initiative submitted by HEV Schweiz entitled «A secure home in old age» proposes to grant homeowners who are in retirement age the one-off election to no longer be taxed on imputed rental value; in return, the mortgage interest on their own homes could no longer be deducted. The Federal Council rejected this initiative, and in a indirect counter-proposal it suggested the abolition of taxation on imputed rental value for all homeowners. Meanwhile, the National Council and the Council of States have spoken out against this indirect proposal. The initiative will thus be put to popular vote without the counter-proposal.