Hi all, I’m leaving this information in case someone can use it in the future, because I had trouble finding it.
As you know, Switzerland withholds an automatic 35% from a company’s dividends for taxes (very high). When you live in Switzerland, the amount is corrected to your actual tax rate (dividends don’t have a separate tax rate in CH as far as I understand) at the end of the year when do you your taxes. However, if you live outside of CH and own shares in a swiss company which pays you a dividend, that doesn’t happen. You have to reclaim the amount you are owed, if any (You have to check the tax rate in your country and whether there is a double tax treaty with Switzerland). In my case, I moved to a country in the EU where the tax rate on dividends was 15% (more standard). I had set up a GmbH to bill clients for my consulting work when I lived in Switzerland, so I waited to declare a dividend until after I moved from Switzerland, and saved some money in taxes.
However, you do have to go through the work of reclaiming it from the tax office. You first find the form here: http://www.estv.admin.ch/verrechnung...x.html?lang=en
It’s relatively simple but it has to be signed and stamped by your local tax office, which depending where you live can be difficult! Once I finally managed that I received the refund in a few days.
This is relevant for anyone who owns shares in any Swiss company (UBS, etc) and doesn’t live in Switzerland. The Swiss government must make a lot of money by withholding such a big amount and having people not know/not care enough to ask for the money back…