In Switzerland the value at which the simple cantonal tax must be multiplied in order to determine the amount of municipal tax owed is known as the applicable municipal tax quota (German: Gemeindesteuerfuss or Gemeindesteueranlage, French: coefficient de l’impôt communal or quotité de l’impôt communal). However, not all municipalities and cantonals use applicable tax quotas in the same way.
Example of an applicable municipal tax quota as it relates to municipal income tax
Income taxable in your canton: CHF 70,000
Tax rate as per cantonal tax schedule: 5.18%
Simple cantonal tax: 5.18% * 70,000 = CHF 3626
Applicable municipal tax quota: 119% (or 1.19)
Municipal tax: 119% * 3626 = CHF 4314.95
In some cantons, applicable tax quotas are stated as a decimal (1.19, for example), while other cantons state applicable tax quotas as a percentage (119%, for example).
There are applicable tax quotas for both the income and wealth taxation of individuals, and for the profit and capital taxation of legal entities.
The following exceptions apply to the taxation of individuals: In the cantons of Fribourg and Ticino, municipal taxes are determined by multiplying the applicable municipal tax quota by the cantonal tax rather than the simple cantonal tax.
In the Canton of Vaud, municipalities use their own tax schedules which differ from the cantonal tax schedule. As in other cantons, the applicable municipal tax quota is multiplied by the tax rate as per the cantonal tax schedule to determine the municipal taxes owed.
The municipality of Basel-Stadt does not levy a municipal tax. This is integrated into the cantonal tax.
Differences between cantons are more pronounced with regards to profit and capital taxes for businesses. In nearly half of cantons, the way in which these taxes are calculated differs from the applicable tax quota system defined above – with differences ranging from minor to major. However, whether or not taxes are calculated based on an applicable tax quota has no impact on the amounts levied, nor on tax progression.
Many municipalities use the same applicable tax quota to calculate both income and wealth taxes owed by individuals. It is also common for municipalities to use the same applicable tax quota to calculate both profit tax and capital tax owed by legal entities.
However, there are municipalities which use different applicable tax quotas when calculating taxes owed by individuals than those they use to calculate taxes owed by businesses. There can also be massive differences between the applicable tax quotas used by different municipalities within the same canton.