Horizon – February 2023
Working declared and taxed at source: what is the difference?
Every job in Switzerland must in principle be declared to social insurances. It Is possible to be declared to social insurances even if you don’t have a residency permit. It is your employer’s responsibility to declare you. Once you are declared, your employer will withhold a part of your gross salary to pay your dues to social insurances such as: AVS, AI, APG, CI, etc. After these social dues have been withdrawn, you receive your net salary (= take-home pay).
Being taxed at source (“imposé à la source”) is compulsory for persons with a residency permit (B or L permit) who work declared (for undocumented workers, it is also possible to be taxed at source). Your employer must declare you to the tax authorities and set aside a portion of your salary to pay the tax. The amount set aside for the tax will depend on your personal situation (married or not, with or without children and/or dependents, single-parent family, etc.). Be sure to communicate your family situation to your employer so that he/she can apply the correct rate (they can use the form « déclaration pour le prélèvement impôt à la source », which is available on the tax authorities’ website). Paying taxes allows you to access various services such as the health insurance subsidy, subsidized housing, etc. Your employer can declare you to the tax authorities even if you don’t yet have a residency permit.
Parascolaire and school meals for children
Depending on your income, after-school care (parascolaire) could be free for your children regardless of where you live in Geneva. Please note that the exoneration must be requested each year before the month of November.
Depending on where you live and on your income, there are also aids for school meals. Ask CCSI if such aids are available for you.
Please note, you must always warn parascolaire in advance if your child will not be attending school meals or after-school care.
2023-2024 registration for parascolaire and school meals
Registration for parascolaire and school meals takes place between 20 March and 9 May 2023. DO NOT MISS THESE DATES – or your child will not be able to attend when school starts! Like last year, a telephone service is available for parents who do not have an “e-démarches” account for online registration. More information can be found at www.giap.ch
Cantonal and municipal benefits
Geneva is both a city and a canton. The City of Geneva occupies most of the territory but there are other municipalities too (Meyrin, Vernier, Onex, Carouge, etc.). Certain aids and benefits are cantonal, whereas others depend on where you live. You can access cantonal aids and benefits regardless of where you live in Geneva (parascolaire, dental clinics, etc.).
But some benefits are municipal and can vary depending on where you live. For example, the price of school meals is different in every municipality: in some places, families do not have to pay for school meals, in others school meals are only partly subsidized, and in some municipalities, families pay full price for school meals. These rules are decided by each municipality and CCSI must comply with them. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask when you come for your next appointment.
Throughout the year, CCSI organizes collective information sessions in various languages on a range of issues such as how the social insurance system or school system works, and other themes. Our information sessions are free, open to all and do not require registration.
To make sure our sessions are adapted to your needs, we would like to know more about your interests. It would help us a lot if you could answer this short survey (5 min!). Thank you!
Primary school: registration
Any child living in Geneva, regardless of his/her legal status, has the right and the obligation to go to school. This year, children born before 01.08.2019 start school on August 21st 2023. If you haven’t registered your child for school yet, you should contact the school closest to your home.
To be accepted at school, your child must have health insurance. CCSI is in charge of affiliation for children without a residence permit. Make an appointment, and come with the official identification for the child and his/her legal guardian, as well as your address. Your child will be able to start school as soon as you have come to CCSI.
It is very difficult to find a place in daycare for pre-school children in Geneva. CCSI can help you increase your chances, but cannot guarantee a place. If you live or work in Geneva city, go to the Bureau d’Information de la Petite Enfance (BIPE, rue du Cendrier 8). If you live in another area in the canton of Geneva, you must go to the “service de la petite enfance” of your commune – if there is one. If not, pre-register your child in the daycare center(s) closest to your home or workplace. To do so, you must present your child’s insurance certificate.
CCSI can write a letter of recommendation to support your request. For this, you will need to make an appointment with the Childhood, education and health consultation at CCSI. Please note that there is no guarantee that your child will have a place in daycare. The cost of monthly payments depends on your income. There are currently no financial aids for those costs.
Health insurance subsidy
You must request the subsidy (financial aid from the State for health insurance) for your child’s health insurance each year by 30 November. If you haven’t done so yet, please make an appointment with CCS as soon as possible. Please note that you will need to bring documents, reception at CCSI can tell you what to bring to the appointment. If you have a permit or are taxed at source (directly deducted from your salary), please tell reception.
As soon as you receive the subsidy, please bring a copy of the certificate to our reception. The subsidy is a right based on your income. Requesting it will not affect other proceedings, such as the request for a residency permit.
The subsidy covers your child’s premium up to 114.- maximum. Every month, you will have to pay whatever exceeds 114.-. If you have supple-mental health insurance, you will have to pay for it entirely; it is never covered by the subsidy.
It often takes time for the insurance company to register your subsidy. In the meantime, it is best to pay the first bills yourself (they will be reimbursed later). If you are not able to do that, you must contact the insurance or CCSI to try to block the bills.
Supplementary insurance (called assurance complémentaire in French, or LCA) are not required. These insurances only cover some of the costs that are not included in mandatory health insurance (LAMal), such as dental care or alternative medicines.
Caution! The subsidy (financial aid for health insurance costs) does not cover supplementary insurances. If you subscribe to supplementary insurance, all of the costs will befall you.
If you have signed a supplementary insurance contract, you have up to 14 days to cancel the contract. If however you decide to keep the insurance, it will be valid three years minimum. After that, if you wish to get rid of it, you can ask for a termination of the contract. Caution, this must be done at least a month before the end of the contract period.
In both cases, you must send a registered letter (recommandé) to your insurance company. If needed, we can provide a model for you. Just ask at CCSI reception desk.
Civil responsibility insurance
Civil responsibility insurance (assurance responsabilité civile or RC) covers damages caused to other people by yourself or your family (e.g. your child breaks the neighbor’s window playing football, or you scratch a car in a parking lot).
This insurance is recommended for all, and is compulsory to register your child at daycare, for holiday camps, to rent an apartment or drive a car. It costs approximately CHF 120.- per year, and covers you and your minor children living with you. You can sign up for this insurance at any time during the year. Ask for information at your next appointment at CCSI.