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  #161  
Old 04.10.2013, 16:47
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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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.
actually, your examples can't happen.

there are rules which means that any inter-group transactions which happen, need to be benchmarked to independent transactions.

so, for example, if you have inter-company loans, you take a look at what interest/terms independent parties charge and you have to have same terms and if you have something more favourable, the government taxes you on the difference.

for starbucks, you have to look at what the value of the IP was. obviously, i couldn't just open up my own coffee place and brand it starbucks. i'd love to and it obviously creates value for me to do so and so they can rightly charge for that brand.

presumably, where the chains are franchises, the franchise owners are third parties and by definition, the price charged for IP is at arms length.
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  #162  
Old 04.10.2013, 17:07
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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.
Okay, but you're putting the same amount of effort into proverbially lynching these big companies as it would take to seek the truth about the tax environment. Good for you. Hopefully you've gotten your bitter resentment against big corporations off your chest...
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  #163  
Old 04.10.2013, 18:01
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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actually, your examples can't happen.
Sorry but actually they do. I used to work in this area, still am to a small extent connected. If you don't want to read the technical stuff just read the press a bit. They don't get everything wrong you know.

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Okay, but you're putting the same amount of effort into proverbially lynching these big companies as it would take to seek the truth about the tax environment. Good for you. Hopefully you've gotten your bitter resentment against big corporations off your chest...
Please - where do I show any resentment towards big corporations? I am commenting on what does happen and nowhere have I passed any judgement. Many of these schemes only work if you are multinational and therefore almost by definition only big corporations can use them.

Now if I started naming names you could maybe make the accusation. But apart from following up on the Starbucks example called up earlier I haven't.
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  #164  
Old 04.10.2013, 18:06
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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Sorry but actually they do. I used to work in this area, still am to a small extent connected. If you don't want to read the technical stuff just read the press a bit. .
Just FYI, I'm pretty sure Phil_MCR is in real-life a reasonably high-level tax specialist. Not saying he can't make any mistakes, but I would wager he knows the technical stuff.

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Old 04.10.2013, 18:31
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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Sorry but actually they do. I used to work in this area, still am to a small extent connected. If you don't want to read the technical stuff just read the press a bit. They don't get everything wrong you know.


Please - where do I show any resentment towards big corporations? I am commenting on what does happen and nowhere have I passed any judgement. Many of these schemes only work if you are multinational and therefore almost by definition only big corporations can use them.

Now if I started naming names you could maybe make the accusation. But apart from following up on the Starbucks example called up earlier I haven't.
You've gone round and round trying to prove that Starbucks is evading taxation, by using examples that you've generalized and then implied these things are happening quite often. Sounds like an underlying premise to me...
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  #166  
Old 04.10.2013, 18:35
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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Just FYI, I'm pretty sure Phil_MCR is in real-life a reasonably high-level tax specialist. Noot saying he can't make any mistakes, but I would wager he knows the technical stuff.
Thanks and interesting - cos I have seen this sort of stuff at first hand. Although IIRC Phil is American and presumably would lean in that direction - and the IRS is considerably better at closing down this type of dodge than HMRC
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  #167  
Old 04.10.2013, 18:38
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

He does a very convincing Manc accent for a septic.
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Old 04.10.2013, 18:39
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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You've gone round and round trying to prove that Starbucks is evading taxation, by using examples that you've generalized and then implied these things are happening quite often. Sounds like an underlying premise to me...
So please show me where. I made one single reference to Starbucks because OTHER people already mentioned it earlier. To save you the bother of searching as you don't seem to be very keen on that this was it:
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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).
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Old 04.10.2013, 18:41
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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He does a very convincing Manc accent for a septic.
Note to self - check profile before posting! I always had Phil down as a septic.
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  #170  
Old 04.10.2013, 19:07
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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I wouldn't say I'm fed up, but I am very disappointed. Why do so many English speaking foreigners, particularly brits I'm ashamed to say, complain loudly about paying for services here?!?! We all know the prices LOOK high by UK and especially US standards, we know that. Not new or unexpected. I too was shocked by the Swiss prices, but when in Rome you should bloody well participate in the Roman economy.

Many of us were born in a culture (UK) where people jump at opportunities to get something without paying. Something for nothing, we want to earn $$$$ but don't give a toss if others starve*. It's also a place where the restaurant staff barely earn enough to put food on the table.

When people earn a decent wage, they pay others for serving them food and moving their home and shit. Trying to get shit for free and underpaying thise less fortunate is not how capitalism works.


* as long as they don't claim benefits!?!?
It's an age old EF debate. Why can't I have everything exactly the way it was back where I come from, with out the crummy pay? I think a lot of people come here with the idea to get rich quick on the local-as-opposed-to-where-they-anglolly-come-from-currency, and return, without researching enough that locally, the costs of being here are, with in line of what they make.

I know back in the D, when Ford would send employees to live in France for 2 year stints, it was more like taking one for the team, or taking on a new experience. Whenever I talk to anyone I know(it's how we got here), about coming to CH, it's always this enticing idea to make fortune, but when it is "taken away" it's so much anger. What happens is this...
No one does enough research before the big cash Swiss cash grab. They come here with the idea they are golden, and will make a bundle so they can go back to their mother countries, but rounds of beer, talk the big talk, an be "rich". What they learn is, people get paid so much more, cause they themselves pay so much more, and they get pissed or grubby.

I don't care if I get groaned for that comment because it is one of the most true things I have said since being here. People think if in the UK or USA they make X dollars, do the exact same thing, and come to CH and make X3 or X4, that amount, they are suddenly bullet proof, and don't want to pay X3 or X4 for a loaf of bread. They would rather spend their whole weekend and drive to Germany or France to buy bread and furniture cheaper, to save a few francs, cause they are so annoyed at getting paid more and having to pay back more.

People are greedy. The one's that come here because they fell in love, and make a compromise, or went to school, or the love the country are one thing. Expats that think they hit the lotto jackpot, and want to hog it all to themselves are another. Whatever country they are in.
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  #171  
Old 04.10.2013, 19:10
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

Expat stereotypes. I loves them!

Good job we're not like them other ones, isn't it?
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  #172  
Old 04.10.2013, 23:27
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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Again, disingenuous, and not addressing the point. You climbed on your high horse and anointed yourself high judge of "fairness." Now that I've pointed out how judgemental you're being, you're again trying to justify taxing the crap out of a big company just for the sake of them being big. Like revenue, economic activity isn't a good indicator of profitability (and subsequently ABILITY to pay taxes), so why would you ever want to tax a company in this manner?

The company can have all the activity in the world, and still be operating at a loss. If you then tax these efforts, it just increases the loss, and eventually the company closes or leaves. Bye bye tax revenue and now there's no money to pay for your high horse...
Your anger and frustration makes you lose your discernment. Instead of reading what I wrote you just start vituperating.If you take the time to read again my post you'll understand that I was pointing to the tax avoidance strategy used by these companies through tax heavens like Bermuda (not only US companies, also european)

- Tax avoidance is a known problem and widely studied and analyzed by US congress (read at least the summary) and OECD

- Is Tax Avoidance legal today? Yes it is! It exploits gaps in national/international tax laws.

- Is Tax avoidance moral? I don't think it's moral and that's where we disagree.

- Is Tax avoidance going to last? I don't think so. Bankrupt states and angry population are making too much pressure.

But again remember, slavery was legal at some point in history but yet it was immoral.

If you want to have a constructive discussion and debate, it's fine for me. If you just like to insult and vituperate then it's better that we stop it here.
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  #173  
Old 04.10.2013, 23:30
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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To be fair, MrVertigo seems to be arguing without any background knowledge of the subject matter, so you can't blame him. Sort of.
Quite a cheap comment but totally in line with your "cheap" mindset

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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.
May I give you a cheap advice then: if you are not a RichDog why don't you just change your handle to YappyDog?
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  #174  
Old 05.10.2013, 00:06
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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I find it a bit strange that people find service bad everywhere with every situation in Switzerland.

I have had bad service here and there and the result was that I never went back, or I cancelled an order but I could count those experiences on one hand since I've been here (150 years give or take ).

If I had consistently bad service everywhere from every possible service-provider and shop, I think I would have to have a long look at myself and the manner in which I deal with people.
I like that
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Old 05.10.2013, 11:44
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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People think if in the UK or USA they make X dollars, do the exact same thing, and come to CH and make X3 or X4, that amount...
Just a comment about how expat assignment contracts work in companies OH and I have worked for - and from discussions with friends, many MNCs structure expat assignment compensation in similar ways.

First, an employee on an expat contract does not earn X3 or X4 the home country salary. No, an expat is compensated so that he makes roughly the same as his home country salary, adjusted for local cost of living and taxes accodring to a specific formula. The goal is that an expat assignee will financially neither significantly lose out nor significantly benefit from the assignment - all things considered the expat assignee should end up 'whole' in real terms.

However, at least in the companies I have direct experience with, the US compensation adjustment figures are taken from the NY market and the UK adjustment is taken from London. Which, if one comes from another market with a lower COLA, can lead to some painful surprises in the host country. If one lives in a market that is 10-20% cheaper than NY or London there is a significant loss BEFORE one even steps on CH soil.

And many soon find out that the official COLA figures derived by whatever consultancy firm the company uses are often way off the mark in terms of the real Swiss cost of living for a newly arrived resident. Even assignees based in NY and London might be surprised at the inaccuracy of the COLA adjustment.

Hence the outtrade - and hence the shock and grumbling at CH prices.

Another point to understand: Yes, local salaries in CH are often higher WRT other countries for entry and non-management mid-level jobs. But that is often not the case at the highly skilled or management levels.

In the financial industry, salaries at the upper levels are lower in CH than NY or London. If one is coming over on a local contract, one may actually take a loss here in CH. Certainly one might not have the growth potential one might naturally expect in other markets.

Again, hence the shock and grumbling at CH prices.

Most people do indeed do what research into the CH market they can before agreeing to the move - but actual on-the-ground-as-it-affects-my-daily-life information is not that easy to come by, especially if one does not yet speak the local language.

As can be seen on EF threads: discussions here seem to quickly veer either into the total-doom-and-gloom or over-the-top-rose-colored glasses end of the spectrum. The middle, where reality lies, is often hard to discern if one does not know much about Switzerland. And frankly 'knowing much about Switzerland' is something that only comes with living here for some time.

To add to the confusion, in all our years of expat assignments I have never come across an HR advisor who has actually experienced the home/host country adjustment him/herself. The advice given is often from a skewed perspective.

Just my 2 cents/pence/5 Rappen... as many have said, please don't assume that all expats are coining it here in Switzerland. In fact, I'd guess that most aren't, wrt their home country salaries v. home country COL.

Switzerland is still a nice place, many are quite happy here, many have learned to adjust their standard of living downward (or re-define SOL ) to reflect actual cost of living for the individual. But that process takes years - and if a bit of venting here on EF might help speed the adjustment process, what's wrong with that?

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  #176  
Old 05.10.2013, 12:19
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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Your anger and frustration makes you lose your discernment. Instead of reading what I wrote you just start vituperating.If you take the time to read again my post you'll understand that I was pointing to the tax avoidance strategy used by these companies through tax heavens like Bermuda (not only US companies, also european)

- Tax avoidance is a known problem and widely studied and analyzed by US congress (read at least the summary) and OECD

- Is Tax Avoidance legal today? Yes it is! It exploits gaps in national/international tax laws.

- Is Tax avoidance moral? I don't think it's moral and that's where we disagree.

- Is Tax avoidance going to last? I don't think so. Bankrupt states and angry population are making too much pressure.

But again remember, slavery was legal at some point in history but yet it was immoral.

If you want to have a constructive discussion and debate, it's fine for me. If you just like to insult and vituperate then it's better that we stop it here.
Nobody's insulting you. Nobody is being vituperative save yourself. You are picking numbers with the specific intent of painting a negative picture and I've pointed out how disingenuous you're being, in a very constructive manner. For there to be a constructive debate, you've got to actually post something that says something more substantial than "Its not fair because I think its not fair."
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Old 05.10.2013, 13:19
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

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Quite a cheap comment but totally in line with your "cheap" mindset

May I give you a cheap advice then: if you are not a RichDog why don't you just change your handle to YappyDog?
YappyDog... you had a think to yourself, that's the best you could come out with?

Anyway I'll shut up now, it's more amusing to see Jobsrobertsharpii skillfully dissecting your posts.
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Old 05.10.2013, 18:42
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

Useful post Mel - except everyone I know is on a local contract
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  #179  
Old 05.11.2013, 01:03
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

Good service needs good feedback from customers; if you're not happy with service let the people know; service providers are humans too and will likely respond well if approached in a courteous manner. Ask why the price is apparently steep; make suggestions, listen to the providers reasoning. We may all learn something.

Wouldn't it be interesting if there were a Swiss site for aggrieved service providers to disparage mean customers?

"That bloody American Hausfraumomster thinks she's really the bee's knees but I didn't say anything because she'll be straight on her blog moaning about outrageous service..." It goes both ways.

Spare me from having to own a car to commute to a dreadful mall to save money; I've seen how that's ruined the British local high street.
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Old 25.05.2015, 17:25
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Re: Rich tight bottomed auslanders

Starting 1st May Amazon will pay taxes in Germany and UK.
Big smile to the narrow minded I shall not name anyone....enough shame.
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