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  #141  
Old 04.10.2013, 12:14
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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That's a serious acusation of illegal activity, amazing you can throw it around so freely, especially given that you show no proof and they've been thoroughly audited by the Revenue, and they didn't find anything of the sort.
No it isn't, I see no mention of illegality. Any reasonable person would agree that the totally artificial constructs used to eliminate tax liabilities amount to fixing the books ("fixing" not "cooking" or whatever).

Take a look at the last Private Eye if you want to know how that works. Also how totally ineffective the IR is in countering it.


Edit - hold on - wtf has all this to do with tight-ar*ed foreigners in Switzerland?
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  #142  
Old 04.10.2013, 12:19
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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I scan through this thread, and I can't help at being astonished at how many people think that taxation exists for the purpose of "fairness."
Actually I am told (and I have not checked this) that in Switzerland there is a legal or constitutional requirement for tax to be "fair".
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  #143  
Old 04.10.2013, 12:25
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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No it isn't, I see no mention of illegality. Any reasonable person would certainly agree that the totally artificial constructs used to eliminate tax liabilities amount to fixing the books ("fixing" not "cooking" or whatever).
"Fixing" or "cooking the books" is certainly illegal, it means falsifying records. "Totally artificial constructs" for the purpose of avoiding tax are not allowed by the HMRC.

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Take a look at the last Private Eye if you want to know how that works. Also how totally ineffective the IR is in countering it.
I think they lack credibility, but if these type of investigations were true, we'd hear some substantive arguments and calls for reasonable policy changes instead of grandstanding about "fairness" and endless "they paid <insert small number> tax while making <insert large number> revenue" nonsense statements.
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  #144  
Old 04.10.2013, 12:25
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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All your points are absolutely correct. But have you ever done a daily commute in London on the tube? Even for comparatively short distances it is literally hell on earth. Every so often I take the early flight to LCY and get on the DLR for the city; it is literally hell on earth. No commute in Switzerland comes close and there's no way I would go back to that daily grind. (London's a great place for regular visits though!)

Maybe some stuff is 3-4 times more expensive, but overall it isn't that bad and the salaries more than compensate for that. Life in Switzerland is just comfortable (bequem in German) and there's a reason so many people come here for a short time and just never leave.
A word of Caution:

Your salary may account for it, but this is not the case for everyone on this forum. Careful you dont make the mistake of thinking EF is a rich expats club. Most people who arrived in the last 2-3 years are not on the enormous juicy contracts that the older EF Vets are on.
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  #145  
Old 04.10.2013, 12:27
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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I think they lack credibility.
Try reading it before you dismiss. What they say is substantially correct. And they do talk about profit and not the completely misleading revenue.

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"Totally artificial constructs" for the purpose of avoiding tax are not allowed by the HMRC.
In theory forbidden by UK tax law but HMRC does SFA to prevent it.
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  #146  
Old 04.10.2013, 12:28
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

Absolutely- but most of them have made the choice to come here- why?
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  #147  
Old 04.10.2013, 12:31
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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Absolutely- but most of them have made the choice to come here- why?
Job, Swiss spouse, change of scenery, all kinds of reasons.

I took a salary cut to move here. I doubt I'm the only member of EF who did that.
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  #148  
Old 04.10.2013, 12:33
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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A word of Caution:

Your salary may account for it, but this is not the case for everyone on this forum. Careful you dont make the mistake of thinking EF is a rich expats club. Most people who arrived in the last 2-3 years are not on the enormous juicy contracts that the older EF Vets are on.
Yup, I find it hilarious how so many people seem to jusp to conclusions and assume that all the expats are on anything but a normal salary here. The top earners probably only account for 20% or less. Many of us here are just (at the moment, at least) regular muggins.

Most of the people making these sweeping arguments and accusations seem to be a little clueless and detached from real-life in general.
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  #149  
Old 04.10.2013, 12:36
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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Yup, I find it hilarious how so many people seem to jusp to conclusions and assume that all the expats are on anything but a normal salary here. The top earners probably only account for 20% or less. Many of us here are just (at the moment, at least) regular muggins.

Most of the people making these sweeping arguments and accusations seem to be a little clueless and detached from real-life in general.
To be fair, though, I get the impression that most of us (with the exception of the au pairs) have white collar jobs, which do tend to pay a bit better than working the tills at Migros.

Still, the idea that most of us earn 120k or more is risible.

Can't beat a good stereotype when we're expat-bashing, can we?
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  #150  
Old 04.10.2013, 12:39
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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Try reading it before you dismiss. What they say is substantially correct. And they do talk about profit and not the completely misleading revenue.
I read all sorts of things written by them which were absolute hogwash. If you'd kindly provide a link to this particular material you find compelling, I'll certainly look at it with a fair and balanced eye The only problem is, since I'm a mathematician, I find it hard to withstand logic constructions which are based at some point on some assertion (usually made in bad faith), and it's hard to judge something after listening to only one side.

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In theory forbidden by UK tax law but HMRC does SFA to prevent it.
I don't think that's true. The HMRC is extraordinarily aggressive against tax avoidance schemes, and there's a lot of political pressure on them to do so.
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  #151  
Old 04.10.2013, 12:42
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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If you'd kindly provide a link to this particular material you find compelling, I'll certainly look at it with a fair and balanced eye
Afraid you would have to buy it - they don't put their content on-line. Something about not wanting people to access it for free
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  #152  
Old 04.10.2013, 12:45
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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Afraid you would have to buy it - they don't put their content on-line. Something about not wanting people to access it for free
Right so

I'm getting back to work then, need to keep the tax overlords happy...
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  #153  
Old 04.10.2013, 12:51
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

Go ahead and call me a tight bottomed auslädner, I'm fine with that. And even though I may belong to the group of people who earn a very good salary, the cost of living for a family of four is disproportionally high. I am willing to pay the high price e. g. for good quality meat, where I think it is more expensive to raise animals in a more humane way than it is done in other countries.

But why is wash powder close to 30 franks in Migros, when you can get it for 8 or 9 in Aldi or Lidl? And a dry cleaning costs as much as buying a new dress? Medication is 30 to 50% more expensive than in other European countries? Why are books 30% more expensive? Certainly not for higher production costs. And btw even my Swiss friends shop for high price items across the border to save a lot of money.

Last edited by MacGregor's Daughter; 04.10.2013 at 19:54.
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  #154  
Old 04.10.2013, 13:09
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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I don't think that's true. The HMRC is extraordinarily aggressive against tax avoidance schemes, and there's a lot of political pressure on them to do so.
if totally artificial constructs are not allowed. and hmrc have looked at it and find no grounds to challenge, then surely this implies that they don't have totally artificial constructs.
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  #155  
Old 04.10.2013, 13:18
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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....are not on the enormous juicy contracts that the older EF Vets are on.
Talk about making sweeping generalisations...
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  #156  
Old 04.10.2013, 13:27
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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Actually I am told (and I have not checked this) that in Switzerland there is a legal or constitutional requirement for tax to be "fair".
So, um, google it? Otherwise this completely lacks credibility... I am told I've got a rich Uncle Howard, worth about $2bn, and I'm his only heir...

Also, saying that taxation must be fair is very different from using taxation to impose "fairness."
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  #157  
Old 04.10.2013, 13:44
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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Talk about making sweeping generalisations...
To be fair, i did say 'most' not 'all'.


Very true, and i apologise if anyone is offended. But the fact is, people who came 5-15 years ago will in most cases have started on (proportionately) a higher salary then those in the last couple of years.

I was talking to one of my older colleagues who, when he came 15 years or so ago, was doing the same job. I told him what pay grade (note:not salary) i started on, to which he replied '[pay grade]?! i wouldnt get out of bed for that!'.

Times have changed.

Last edited by J2488; 04.10.2013 at 14:12.
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  #158  
Old 04.10.2013, 14:27
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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So, um, google it? Otherwise this completely lacks credibility... I am told I've got a rich Uncle Howard, worth about $2bn, and I'm his only heir...

Also, saying that taxation must be fair is very different from using taxation to impose "fairness."
So um cannot be bothered to wade through pages of legal German (that's even more painful than legal English).

But was told by a Swiss tax specialist who should be in a position to know.
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  #159  
Old 04.10.2013, 14:31
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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So um cannot be bothered to wade through pages of legal German (that's even more painful than legal English).

But was told by a Swiss tax specialist who should be in a position to know.
i think there may be something about tax not being regressive because i think some of the flat tax proposals had to be tweaked.

EDIT: here we go:

"Obwalden had been forced to review its tax system following a complaint from Socialist Party deputy Josef Zisyadis that reforms put in place in January 2006 had created a regressive tax system, where wealthy taxpayers paid a lower tax rate than those on lower incomes, and which was therefore unconstitutional."
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  #160  
Old 04.10.2013, 14:38
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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if totally artificial constructs are not allowed. and hmrc have looked at it and find no grounds to challenge, then surely this implies that they don't have totally artificial constructs.
There's a lot of politics goes on in there you know. Plus of course the companies operating them would claim they are not artificial. There's quite a number of ways they do it including (just a couple of examples):
  • For UK companies channeling money through Luxembourg for inter-company loans. Loans with quite unreal interest rates that nicely suck profit into tax free Luxembourg income.
  • For foreign companies often manipulating transfer prices or charging astronomical IP fees out via tax free domains (IIRC this is the scheme Starbucks are using).
Wholly artificial to you and me but of course they have expensive lawyers and political influence to get away with it.
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