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Old 13.12.2014, 17:48
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IRS Coming to Switzerland - literally!

http://bern.usembassy.gov/federal_tax_law.html

"The U.S. Embassy is pleased to announce a visit and presentation by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The American Women’s Club of Zurich (AWCZ) has graciously agreed to host the U.S. Embassy and the IRS at their clubhouse on January 26-27, 2015. IRS representatives from the office in Paris will offer a limited number of 15-minute individual private consultations to discuss individual tax questions with taxpayers on Monday, January 26, 2015 from 2pm – 5pm and on Tuesday, January 27, 2015 from 9:30am – 11:30am.

IRS specialists will also provide a public presentation on tax-specific information pertinent to U.S. citizens living abroad and foreign citizens with U.S. tax obligations on Monday, January 26, 2015 from 6pm – 8pm. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A session. U.S. Embassy representatives will be available to answer any questions concerning consular matters and how to apply for a social security number. Please note that the IRS will NOT be able to answer questions regarding banking matters."

Picked this info up from IBS poster Innocente who also added:

"In the event that the IRS has not done its homework, it should note that Switzerland has a strict law on foreign agents operating on Swiss territory, Swiss Criminal Code Art. 271:

“Art. 271
Unlawful activities on behalf of a foreign state
1. Any person who carries out activities on behalf of a foreign state on Swiss territory without lawful authority, where such activities are the responsibility of a public authority or public official,
- any person who carries out such activities for a foreign party or organisation,
- any person who encourages such activities,
is liable to a custodial sentence not exceeding three years or to a monetary penalty, or in serious cases to a custodial sentence of not less than one year.”

http://www.admin.ch/ch/e/rs/311_0/a271.html

In a nutshell, IRS agents and those responsible for organizing these sessions could be arrested unless prior legal approval has been obtained."

Now wouldn't that be a nice Christmas present.
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Old 13.12.2014, 20:07
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Re: IRS Coming to Switzerland - literally!

When the Eritrea Consulate in Canada became too aggressive in collecting the 2% diaspora tax from Eritreans, Canada tossed out the head of the consulate in 2013. This summer Canada gave a "final straw" warning to the Eritrean Consulate that it will be closed if it makes any efforts to collect the diaspora tax from Eritreans in Canada. This is from a National Post article on the warning to Eritrea:

"Eritrea consulate receives ‘final straw’ warning to stop extorting expatriates in Canada

TORONTO — The federal government has warned Eritrea that its only diplomatic outpost in Canada will be shut unless it ceases all involvement in a discredited taxation scheme that has been linked to threats, intimidation and harassment.
In a diplomatic note obtained by the National Post, Canadian foreign affairs officials put the Eritrean regime on notice that its Toronto consulate must stop soliciting and collecting a “diaspora tax” for the tiny African dictatorship.
Should consulate staff do anything more than refer callers to an Eritrean government website, Ottawa will close the diplomatic post, said the diplomatic note delivered Thursday in a significant blow to Eritrea and its supporters.
“If the department continues to receive allegations that the consulate continues to solicit the tax, including through provision of amounts owing, requesting notices of assessment, and/or using agents or any similar activities, Canada will withdraw its recognition of the Eritrean consular post in Toronto,” the note said. "

http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/07...tes-in-canada/

If the U.S. Embassy in Bern assists in extorting taxes from the American diaspora living in Switzerland, the U.S. Ambassador should be summoned for a lecture from the Swiss government. If the harassment by the U.S. Embassy persists, a "final straw" ultimatum could be given to cease and desist or face closure, similar to the action taken by the Canadians towards the Eritrea Consulate in Toronto.
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Old 13.12.2014, 22:50
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Re: IRS Coming to Switzerland - literally!

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If the U.S. Embassy in Bern assists in extorting taxes from the American diaspora living in Switzerland, the U.S. Ambassador should be summoned for a lecture from the Swiss government. If the harassment by the U.S. Embassy persists, a "final straw" ultimatum could be given to cease and desist or face closure, similar to the action taken by the Canadians towards the Eritrea Consulate in Toronto.


...because America is to Switzerland what Eritrea is to Canada...

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Old 13.12.2014, 23:01
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Re: IRS Coming to Switzerland - literally!

Yeah, but it would be nice to see someone stand up to the US once in a while
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Old 14.12.2014, 01:14
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Re: IRS Coming to Switzerland - literally!

interesting, I signed up for one of the 15 minute sessions. I was afraid to give my full name so I just gave my first and initial. Although, I've been compliant one never knows if you could end up on a watchlist for an audit

I really would like some answers about the correct reporting of Pillar 2 accounts. Also, how to report it if I take it out one day?

I'll try to give a quick summary on what I am told.
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Old 14.12.2014, 07:35
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Re: IRS Coming to Switzerland - literally!

My current IRS rage:

Received a letter in yesterday's mail, dated Nov 24, 2014 indicating I had underpaid my taxes by several dollars. The letter, posted from the UK, arrived in my mailbox on Dec 13, 2014.

Due date before additional penalties are incurred? Dec 15, 2014.

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Old 14.12.2014, 08:29
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Re: IRS Coming to Switzerland - literally!

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Yeah, but it would be nice to see someone stand up to the US once in a while
When FBI agents flew into Iceland unannounced in 2011 to investigate WikiLeaks operations and the Iceland Home Secretary learned of it, he sent them packing and Iceland filed a diplomatic complaint:

"Iceland Kicked Out FBI Agents Who Flew in Unannounced to Investigate WikiLeaks Operations in the Country

According to the RUV, the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, FBI agents landed in Reykjavík in August 2011 without prior notification in an attempt to investigate WikiLeaks operations within the country. However, their plan was interupted when Home Secretary Ögmundur Jónasson learned about the FBI's visit and sent them packing. The Icelandic government then formally protested the FBI's activities with U.S. authorities.

According to the report form RUV, a private plane landed at Reykjavík airport in August 2011 and onboard were FBI agents who had flown directly from the U.S. to Iceland with the mission to investigate WikiLeaks operations in the country as a part of a larger investigation into the organization. The FBI agents reportedly contacted the head of the national Icelandic police, as well as the head prosecutor in an attempt to gain access to all available information on WikiLeaks.

When Home Secretary Ögmundur Jónasson found out about the FBI's visit, he met with the FBI agents, whom he told that the Icelandic government wouldn't permit a foreign power to run their own investigations within the country. Jónasson then ordered the FBI agents to return to the U.S., and after a special meeting of the cabinet about the inicident, Foreign minister Össur Skarphéðinsson was then charged with formally protesting against the United States' behavior."

http://clevelandleader.com/node/20013

Also, when the inevitable call is made to the Zurich police on or about Monday, January 26, 2015, about foreign agents operating out of the AWCZ building, should they be warned that the foreign agents might be armed? Should the Zurich police consider raiding the AWCZ offices with its Diamant Swat team or even Tigris?

Edit:
According to Wiki, the IRS Criminal Investigation Division Special Agents are authorized to carry firearms and "Special Agents are trained in the use of, and issued, the Glock handguns as sidearms. Remington 870 shotguns or AR-15 type rifles are also equipped depending on the situation." There are 2,600 IRS Special Agents operating worldwide.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IRS_Cr...ation_Division

When the raid occurs, the Zurich police should probably proceed expecting that the IRS agents are armed and take appropriate cautions.

Last edited by MennoFloyd; 14.12.2014 at 09:46. Reason: spelling & edit
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Old 14.12.2014, 10:45
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Re: IRS Coming to Switzerland - literally!

A 2012 SonntagsZeitung article describes how French fiscal agents carried out investigations in Switzerland posing as tourists.

The journalists discussed the criminal activities of the French tax agents with the Swiss Justice Department:

"The Swiss Justice Department, which must pursue such crimes in Switzerland, confirms the activities of the French. "It is a reality that French tax investigators travel into Switzerland to investigate here," said Attorney General Michael Lauber. The activity as described must indeed be considered as an "activity for a foreign country" in the sense of Swiss Criminal Code Article 271 and viewed as an offense against Swiss sovereignty.

The continual and systematic violation of Swiss sovereignty by foreign government officials, and also only for limited investigations, undermines the authority of Swiss authority. The Swiss Federal government gives the impression internally and abroad that it cannot protect its financial and manufacturing industries. "On Swiss territory only Swiss officials are allowed to exercise governmental authority" said Lauber. "

The article also mentions that in 1980 two French tax authorities were arrested and jailed in Basel after trying to purchase bank customer lists. This resulted in a diplomatic incident between Switzerland and France.

http://www.sonntagszeitung.ch/home/a...?newsid=234906
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Old 14.12.2014, 10:56
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Re: IRS Coming to Switzerland - literally!

Ahh ..... that's what IRS stands for - I wish I'd known that during my 3yrs. working there. I thought my salary was unbelievably good.

I was always told that the two departments that began with 'I' and ended in 'S' were to be ignored and avoided.

What's the Statute of Limitations on tax payments?


Oh, where have those light and heady, carefree pre-2001 days gone?
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Old 14.12.2014, 11:08
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Re: IRS Coming to Switzerland - literally!

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When FBI agents flew into Iceland unannounced in 2011 to investigate WikiLeaks operations and the Iceland Home Secretary learned of it, he sent them packing and Iceland filed a diplomatic complaint:

"Iceland Kicked Out FBI Agents Who Flew in Unannounced to Investigate WikiLeaks Operations in the Country
How do you say "I love you" in Icelandic?
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Old 14.12.2014, 11:36
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Re: IRS Coming to Switzerland - literally!

That's shows government's desperation to collect more money from their citizens. I only hope that other governments won't follow similar example with double taxation. The only viable solution seems to be giving up one's passport.
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Old 14.12.2014, 11:48
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Re: IRS Coming to Switzerland - literally!

Anytime you receive a letter from IRS regarding penalties or tax due, just call IRS and explain whatever reason (should be 'make sense reason') and IRS put 'stop' on any interest/penalty charge for 30-60 days. You might need to be on hold/wait for 30 min but it's worth it and IRS, most of time, is very helpful.

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My current IRS rage:

Received a letter in yesterday's mail, dated Nov 24, 2014 indicating I had underpaid my taxes by several dollars. The letter, posted from the UK, arrived in my mailbox on Dec 13, 2014.

Due date before additional penalties are incurred? Dec 15, 2014.

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Old 14.12.2014, 12:52
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Re: IRS Coming to Switzerland - literally!

There is an interesting article in the NZZ today about Eritrean government officials operating within Switzerland.

Quick summary:

Eritrea also conducts worldwide taxation but requires its citizens to pay "only" 2%. Eritrea is a dictatorship and suspected of financing islamic terrorist groups.

These agents harass eritreans who live in Switzerland (a lot of them refugees who are on social welfare) into paying this tax.

Even though there is potentially tax money flowing to Eritrea to fund terrorism and even though these agents are helping these refugees fly home for visits (against the Swiss asylum laws) the Swiss governement has until now sat on their hands and done nothing.

I highly doubt they will even blink an eye if IRS agents come to Zurich.

LINK
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Old 14.12.2014, 12:58
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Re: IRS Coming to Switzerland - literally!

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When the raid occurs, the Zurich police should probably proceed expecting that the IRS agents are armed and take appropriate cautions.
pre-emptive lethal force?
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Old 14.12.2014, 13:37
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Re: IRS Coming to Switzerland - literally!

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There is an interesting article in the NZZ today about Eritrean government officials operating within Switzerland.

Quick summary:

Eritrea also conducts worldwide taxation but requires its citizens to pay "only" 2%. Eritrea is a dictatorship and suspected of financing islamic terrorist groups.

These agents harass eritreans who live in Switzerland (a lot of them refugees who are on social welfare) into paying this tax.

Even though there is potentially tax money flowing to Eritrea to fund terrorism and even though these agents are helping these refugees fly home for visits (against the Swiss asylum laws) the Swiss governement has until now sat on their hands and done nothing.

I highly doubt they will even blink an eye if IRS agents come to Zurich.

LINK
Thanks for the article.

I somewhat envy the Eritreans - their expat tax form is exactly one page. Compare and contrast that to the typical US expat's tax return that might exceed 100 pages and requires costly, highly-specialized accountants to complete. In addition, there are the FBARs that must be filed separately with the U.S. Treasury's Financial Crimes agency:

http://www.embassyeritrea.org/consul...gibri_2012.pdf
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Old 14.12.2014, 17:28
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Re: IRS Coming to Switzerland - literally!

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Thanks for the article.

I somewhat envy the Eritreans - their expat tax form is exactly one page. Compare and contrast that to the typical US expat's tax return that might exceed 100 pages and requires costly, highly-specialized accountants to complete. In addition, there are the FBARs that must be filed separately with the U.S. Treasury's Financial Crimes agency:

http://www.embassyeritrea.org/consul...gibri_2012.pdf
100 pages?
Requires highly-specialized accountants?
I must be doing something wrong...
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Old 14.12.2014, 17:31
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Re: IRS Coming to Switzerland - literally!

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100 pages?
Requires highly-specialized accountants?
I must be doing something wrong...
Probably. That's kind of the point. ;-)
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Old 14.12.2014, 17:34
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Re: IRS Coming to Switzerland - literally!

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Probably. That's kind of the point. ;-)
Nah, I'm just not making nearly enough money to have these types of problems
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Old 15.12.2014, 15:36
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Re: IRS Coming to Switzerland - literally!

Tina Masuda is (or was) accredited as the IRS Representative in Paris, which means she has diplomatic immunity in France and travels on a diplomatic passport. That passport gives her no immunity in Switzerland, except that as a matter of diplomatic courtesy she would (as a matter of Foreign Ministry discretion) enjoy functional immunity for her official acts.

She will undoubtedly be discreet in the exercise of her function within Switzerland.

If (and only if) the Embassy in Bern notified the Foreign Ministry of her expected arrival and asked for her inclusion on the diplomatic list, she would enjoy full immunity. In difficult countries (the old USSR, many countries in Africa, etc.) it is State policy to notify the host country's foreign ministry of every official TDY visit, however brief, to assure immunity. That ensued from a contretemps in Benin where TDY communicators were arbitrarily arrested while driving out of the country in the 1970s.

IRS attachés have little or no policy responsibility and are there to provide limited taxpayer assistance and to coordinate with host country tax authorities on "Competent Authority" treaty issues, including exchange of taxpayer data.

When an attaché has cross-border accreditation it usually shows up (at least in the case of Country Team personnel (i.e., heads of section)) at this site: http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/111812.pdf

As for Eritrea: it appears from unofficial citations of Eritrean nationality law that the acquisition of a foreign nationality results in the loss of Eritrean nationality and (unless Eritrea has the sort of exorbitant quasi-nationality rules that the USA has (relating to green-card holders and long-term residents and renounced citizens who have not filed the proper tax forms and paid the expatriation tax)) once an Eritrean is naturalized elsewhere the obligation to pay the 2% on gross earnings ceases. The Philippines had, from 1913 to 1999, citizenship-based income taxation but this was abolished after massive devaluation resulted (through "bracket creep") in unpayable imposition on low-paid Filipinos working abroad. See Richard D. Pomp, The Experience of the Philippines in Taxing Its Nonresident Citizens, 17 N.Y.U. J. INT'L L. & POL. 245 (1985).
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Old 15.12.2014, 17:08
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Re: IRS Coming to Switzerland - literally!

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When the Eritrea Consulate in Canada became too aggressive in collecting the 2% diaspora tax from Eritreans, Canada tossed out the head of the consulate in 2013. This summer Canada gave a "final straw" warning to the Eritrean Consulate that it will be closed if it makes any efforts to collect the diaspora tax from Eritreans in Canada.
The Eritrean regime does the exact same in Switzerland, did so for some years quite openly and many Eritreans - who happen to be the poorest part of Swiss society - pay the "taxes" from their sozialhilfe.. paid by the Swiss tax payers. The federal government does nothing. So if they do not act on a 3rd world terror regime do I not expect them to send a SWAT team to raid "The American Women’s Club of Zurich".

I'd be for it though - would give Switzerland a bit of an edge after all the anticipatory obedience in the UBS case, banking secrecy and tax discussions with the US...
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