I am applying for a job at a tech company with offices at Zurich and Munich. I understand I dont have the job yet so I may be jumping the gun, but I was asked my preference. I dont intend to live long term/settle in these places, so retirement benefits against higher taxes and long term health benefits are not a major criteria. I am looking for a way to evaluate the compensation at both these places. Also as a side question, is it polite to raise these concerns to my recruiter and ask for advice?

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    I would worry a lot more about the cost of living (typical rent, cost of groceries) than the taxes that are taken from you. Zurich is a very expensive place to live. – Kate Gregory Feb 4 '13 at 20:19
  • Don't ignore benefits that accrue for decades in the future with the EU its like like that mobile workers may have pensions form different member states. For example I am looking at one role in Holland that means that as I have a maxed out state pension in the uk moving to a different country and building up a dutch pension as well as teh UK one does have an appeal. – Neuro Feb 5 '13 at 12:52

As a practical matter this all depends upon the company, so in all honesty only they can give you a real answer. Some companies adjust salaries according to location (local law, tax rate, expenses, ...) others don't.

If you're dealing with a recruiter it's perfectly polite to ask for advice. But there's no guarantee that you'll get a straight answer or even if they know the answer. The one question that the recruiter should be able to answer quickly, if you don't already know, is the salary expectation at each location.

Research and research some more. You need to have enough knowledge of the tax rates and expenses in each location so that you can determine if one offer or location is better for you than the other.

The government websites for each location would be a good starting point.

If and when you get to HR I'd think it would be perfectly acceptable to ask the HR representative about this directly. They deal with it on some level already so should have the background to point you in the right direction.

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    I can't answer for Europe, but in the USA a good tax accountant can advise clients on taxation differences between jurisdictions. – Jim In Texas Feb 4 '13 at 22:16
  • @JimInTexas That's a good point Jim. – Steve Feb 4 '13 at 22:20

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