February 25, 2024

The great checklist for saving money now

Save on pensions, bank accounts, insurance and moving dates: You can save on taxes with these last-minute tips.

Florence Foichard/Media

Access to Papers: 10 Tips on How to Save MoneyImage: Shutterstock

time is running out. There are only a few business days left until the end of the year. They should be used to verify bank accounts, retirement plans, insurance, contributions, and more. Because you can definitely save money and taxes here.

Pillar 3a: Payment before the end of the year

In addition to AHV and Superannuation Fund contributions, employees can also pay an amount into their own allowance each year, in what is called Pillar 3a. The maximum amount for employees in the current year is 7,056 francs. Employees without a pension fund are allowed to pay up to 20 percent of their net income, up to a maximum of 35,280 francs.

3a contributions are fully deductible from taxable income. This is what he must do Payment into the retirement account by December 31, 2023 at the latest receipt. Even if the goal of Pillar 3a is to build retirement funds, most employees make deposits to save taxes.

“It's always worth it for tax purposes.”

Karl Flobacher of VZ Vermögenszentrum

The 3a funds are then taxed when the account is closed, i.e. at the latest when the AHV age is reached. Therefore, experts recommend having several 3a accounts. This means it can be spread out over several years and is usually resolved with a lower tax burden. Men can get their 'first' 3a account as soon as age 60, and women at 59 – although the withdrawal age for women will be gradually increased to 60 from 2024 due to the latest AHV review. Generally, you must close your “last” 3a account no later than the year you retire from the AHV.

Anyone working beyond retirement age can continue paying into 3a accounts for a maximum of five years – and if the pension fund minimum is not reached, higher amounts can be paid, emphasizes Karl Flobacher from VZ Vermögenszentrum. “It's always worth it from a tax perspective: deposits are deducted from taxable income, but withdrawals of pension funds are then taxed at a premium rate.”

Pension Fund: Tax saving thanks to the purchase

By purchasing from a pension fund, insured persons can improve their pension assets and thus their pensions in the medium and long term. In the short term, you can save taxes, especially in the short term. Shopping is especially beneficial in the years leading up to retirementAs Flubaker explains. “The higher the return on purchasing a superannuation fund, the higher the taxable income and therefore the tax saving when making the payment, and the shorter the time the money will remain in the superannuation fund.”

Flowbacher recommends that all insured people check their pension fund to see the maximum amount they can voluntarily contribute. In order to save taxes, they should not be paid all at once, but in stages over several years. At the same time, the VZ expert warns: after the purchase, it is not permissible to withdraw any money from the pension fund in the form of capital for three years. So, if you want to withdraw at least part of the capital at retirement, you are not allowed to make any voluntary purchases for at least three years.

Real Estate: Distribute invoices intelligently

Anyone who owns a property and needs to convert it should, if possible, spread out the work over two years for tax reasons, says Asset Center's Flobacher. Because of the advance effect, it is usually better to be able to deduct 30,000 francs twice rather than 60,000 francs once.

Can be confirmed Only value preservation works, such as facade or roof renovation. The invoice date is crucial here. Property owners who are currently renovating can try to get a portion of the bills from companies that will be doing the work in 2023.

Move: Move papers at the right time

Animated moves to find a flat (Shutterstock)

When moving, you don't just have to think about boxes.Image: Shutterstock

As a rule, your place of residence on December 31 is decisive for last year's tax bill. So, if you're moving to a place with lower taxes anyway, You should officially do so before the end of the yearVZ Flubacher expert advises.

Conversely, if you want to move to a more tax-expensive place, you will have to wait until January 2024 to register.

Health insurance: semi-annual or annual bill

It is now too late to change health insurance companies to compulsory basic insurance. You can still save here – for example, By adjusting the payment frequency. Anyone who can pay premiums every six months or even annually instead of monthly will get a discount from most health insurance companies. This percentage ranges between 0.4 and 2 percent. It may be worth asking your health insurance company.

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If you want an annual or semi-annual bill, you must inform your health insurance company by January 1st at the latest., says Christoph Kaempf of the health insurance association Santésuisse. If you miss this deadline, you can switch to a semi-annual bill mid-year. The deadline for this is July 1.

There are also health insurance companies that do not offer such discounts: they include Concordia, Group Mutuel, and the health insurance company Luzerner Hinterland.

Additional insurance: Don't forget your claims

Before the end of the year, it is also worth taking a look at additional insurance policies: “For many additional outpatient services, insurance benefits are tied to a calendar year,” says Benjamin Manz from comparison portal Moneyland. if Annual limits have not yet been reached It may make sense to claim benefits this year. Examples include contributions for contact lenses, glasses, or shoe soles.

Savings Account: Check interest rates

It is not necessary for everything to be done this year, there are also things that can be postponed to next year. But perhaps you should get an overview over the holidays – for example about the conditions of your bank accounts. Knowledge here is rather modest, as a recent study of retail banking conducted by the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences revealed. Therefore, savers do not know the interest rate on their savings accounts.

“You can open another savings account without putting in much effort.”

Benjamin Manz from the comparison portal Moneyland

This is wrong, because now that the era of zero and negative interest rates is over, banks are starting to pay interest on savings accounts again. The differences between banks are significantsays Moneyland expert Manz. Bank customers should not be satisfied with savings interest rates that are too low. “You can open another savings account without putting in much effort.” He adds: “It is important, in addition to the interest rate, that the withdrawal conditions for savings accounts are also carefully examined.”

Of course, there are also other saving and investing options that are often more attractive. For example, there are usually higher interest rates on fixed-term deposit accounts and medium-term bonds In savings accounts. However, there is one drawback: “With medium-term bonds, the money is tied up for a specific duration,” says Moneyland's Manz. It currently recommends the shortest possible terms, also because interest rates do not rise significantly as the duration increases.

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Compare insurances

As with savings accounts, there are also big differences when it comes to insurance. Manz says it's worth comparing premiums for car, travel, legal protection, liability and household contents insurance. The Moneyland expert also advises making sure you are not double insured. For example, it happens that some… Get separate travel insurance even though you are already insured through your credit card. Manz adds that the insured should not be underinsured or overinsured. This also means: Unnecessary insurance can be cancelled.

Subscriptions: Check

Phone Smartphone Connect to a cell phone

You may also have the potential to save with your cell phone subscription.Image: Shutterstock

As with insurance, the majority of the Swiss population does not take advantage of their savings potential through Telekom subscriptions. Here too the Moneyland expert recommends comparing different offers. Under certain circumstances, subscribers can negotiate better terms with their current telecom provider, Manz says.

Manz also advises everyone to eat regularly Control streaming subscriptions and paid apps, which often goes unnoticed by many. The advantage of streaming subscriptions is that most of them can be canceled in a relatively short time if necessary.

Manz also advises checking all streaming subscriptions and paid apps from time to time, which often continue to work unnoticed by many people. The advantage of streaming subscriptions is that most of them can be canceled in a relatively short time if necessary.

Donations: Do good and save taxes

Donations to tax-exempt non-profit organizations based or affiliated in Switzerland can be exempt from direct federal and most cantonal taxes to the extent that Up to 20 percent of net income It can be deducted – in the canton of Basel-Landschaft even unlimited, adds Flubacher of the Wealth Center. Anyone who donates is not only doing good, but also saving taxes. (aargauerzeitung.ch)