The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Taxes to count towards the calculation of the minimum subsistence level in future

When calculating the minimum subsistence level of debtors under debt enforcement law, the taxes of this person should also be taken into account in future. This is what the Council of States wants.

On Wednesday, it adopted a motion from its Legal Affairs Committee (RK-S) with this demand without opposition. If the National Council also approves this motion, the Federal Council will be given the task of analyzing the situation of these debtors in depth and submitting a proposal to Parliament.

According to the RK-S, the problem is that if current taxes are taken into account during a garnishment, only new tax debts arise for the debtor. This is unsatisfactory. The Council of States is considering a revision of the Federal Debt Enforcement and Bankruptcy Act. The Federal Council requested that the proposal be accepted.

Last November, the national government outlined proposals for a change in the law in a report in response to a postulate from National Councillor Diana Gutjahr (SVP/TG) on this topic.

According to parliamentary documents, the so-called minimum subsistence level under debt enforcement law plays a role above all in the case of garnishment. In the case of seizures of income or wages, the part of the debtor's income that exceeds the minimum subsistence level under debt enforcement law is confiscated by the debt enforcement office and distributed to the creditors.

Better a motion than an initiative

The Council of States did not approve an initiative by the Canton of Geneva on the same topic. In doing so, it followed a proposal by the RK-S, which welcomed the initiative as such. However, the RK-S felt that a motion would be a better way to bring about a change than this initiative. The Geneva authorities and politicians speak of a "debt spiral".

©Keystone/SDA

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