Expanded FAQs on the salary certificate
On 28.12.2021, the tax authorities (SSK working group on salary statements = AGLA) published the adapted questions and answers regarding the salary certificate. A considerable amount has remained the same, which was to be expected. A few questions and answers are new, others have been added. The additions mainly relate to the new business car regulation from 1.1.2022. I will address a few points below. The complete version of the questions and answers as of 1.1.2022 are available at https://www.steuerkonferenz.ch/downloads/la-faq-2022-d.pdf (not available in English).
Clarification of the presentation of employment compensation benefits on the salary certificate – obligation to show the type of compensation benefit and the duration in Section 15 if this is included in Section 1 of the salary certificate – this applies to all types of employment compensation even if they are not listed in detail in the salary certificate guidelines, e.g. paternity leave (since 1.1.2021), EO for the care of children with serious health problems (since 1.7.2021), compensation for loss of earnings for measures against the coronavirus.
[How are income replacement benefits such as short-time work compensation, daily sickness or accident benefits, income replacement in the event of maternity and the like to be certified in the salary statement?
Income replacement benefits must always be shown in item 7 of the salary statement. This also applies if the employer transfers the full amount of the salary to the employee and bears the difference between the salary paid and the income replacement benefit.
If a declaration in item 7 is not possible (e.g. because an allocation is not possible due to the salary software), the declaration in item 7 can be waived and the income replacement benefit can be declared together with the other remuneration in item 1. If the income replacement benefit is declared in section 1, the type and duration of the income replacement benefit must be indicated in section 15].
Outplacement – relief and clarity for employers – if the outplacement services are mandated by the employer and the employer pays the actual costs, these do not have to be declared on the salary statement of the person concerned if the invoice is also in the name of the employer.
[How do outplacement costs paid by the employer have to be declared?
An amount paid by the employer to the employee as a lump sum for outplacement services must be declared in the salary certificate in item 3. The same applies if the invoice for the outplacement is in the name of the employee and is paid by the employer.
If outplacement services are mandated by the employer and paid directly, there is no obligation to declare in the salary certificate].
Background: Since the introduction of the Federal Act on the Tax Treatment of Career-Oriented Training and Further Education Costs (since 1.1.2016) and the circular letter no. 42 Tax Treatment of Career-Oriented Training and Further Education Costs published on 30.11.2017, it was unclear how employers with outplacement support for their employees should treat these costs for tax purposes in payroll accounting. It was only clarified in circular no. 42 that it did not belong to the group of job-oriented training and further education costs.
The OASI (AHV) law and especially the WML (guidelines on the relevant remuneration), however, do not mention anything about outplacement. It neither belongs directly to the area of expenses nor to the allowances for training and further education of the employee. Consultations with various compensation offices in 2016 indicated that it does not qualify as a salary component if the employer commissions the service and pays the actual costs directly. It would be desirable for the Federal Office for Social Insurance (FSIO) to add this to the WML in the same way as the FAQs that have now been published.
Business car solution for private use as of 1.1.2022
As already published by many sources, from 1.1.2022 the private use of the company car must be calculated at 0.9% per month and declared in section 2.2. In return, the declaration of the commute as a benefit in kind in the tax return will no longer apply. Most answers were therefore supplemented with the solution approach from 1.1.2022. Certain questions will probably disappear in the next version because they are only applicable for the company car solution until 31.12.2021.
In this context, it is important that if an employee does not want the flat-rate option with the 0.9% per month on the purchase price without VAT, but the effective option, the kilometres driven for the commute to work belong to the privately driven kilometres. This has already been published in the newly published guidance on the salary statement as of 1.1.2022. These kilometres must be documented in a logbook.
Another point deals with the situation of an employee who receives a company car, can use it privately and pays part of the purchase price himself: The entire purchase price of the company car without VAT is always decisive for the private share offset of 0.9% per month.
The questions and answers also deal with the group of professional and company firefighters.
It is always worthwhile to carry out various checks on the completeness of the information before preparing the salary certificates. Experience shows that this is not always the case. If you have any questions or reviews, I will be happy to assist you.
[ ] the texts in brackets were taken directly from the document FAQ on the SSK salary statement version 1.1.2022 and translated into English.