Many taxpayers do not pay their taxes in Switzerland, especially on the French-speaking side. According to a SonntagsBlick survey, Neuchâtel is the canton with the highest number of citizens prosecuted for non-payment of their tax bills. Neuchâtel is followed by Geneva and Fribourg.
Debt would be the main cause of these non-payments. In Switzerland, 600,000 people are said to be in debt and 80% of them have problems paying their taxes. According to the German-language newspaper, it is usually an unpredictable event that triggers the debt spiral: job loss, divorce or illness. And when the bills pile up, tax bills inevitably end up in the pile.
Neuchâtel is at the top of this ranking of the cantons with the highest proportion of taxpayers to be prosecuted. In 2017, out of more than 120,000 taxpayers, more than 17,000 prosecutions were initiated by the tax authorities, which corresponds to 147 prosecutions per 1,000 taxpayers. This figure rises to 146 in Geneva, 126 in Fribourg, 59 in the canton of Vaud and 32 in Valais. There are only 10 prosecutions per 1000 taxpayers in Uri, for example, which is at the bottom of the ranking.
Faced with this problem, a solution is proposed: deduct the tax directly from the salary. However, this solution raises some practical questions: who is taking the sample? Is it up to the employer to become a tax collector? The problem of tax secrecy vis-à-vis one's boss is raised.
But the reticence is also more philosophical, in the eyes of Samuel Bendahan, for example, the Vaud Socialist National Council representative:
To reduce tax debts, the idea of direct debits is often mentioned, both on the left and on the right, but it does not find enough followers at the moment. Last year a motion in Basel-Stadt proposed a withholding tax, but without success.