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Old 06.05.2015, 14:55
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Do I need to file in Switzerland if I don't make money here?

Hey everyone,

I'm a newbie to this awesome forum, so please excuse me if this has already been covered some place else.

I am a US citizen and I have been living in Switzerland since Nov 2013. My wife is Swiss and we have a toddler girl. I have my own small online business in the US and I only get paid there. I pay my taxes in the US, but am not sure if I should be filing in Switzerland.
For all that's worth I only spend my hard earned taxed US dollar here.

I would highly appreciate any feedback and/or recommendations. I'm willing to also consult with a professional as long as anyone could recommend one.

Thanks
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Old 06.05.2015, 15:01
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Re: Do I need to file in Switzerland if I don't make money here?

you always file where you live, regardless where the income is generated imho. so quickly get your arse into gear and file as fines are high i think.
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Old 06.05.2015, 15:03
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Re: Do I need to file in Switzerland if I don't make money here?

Your wife is Swiss. You and she should be completing a joint tax declaration in Switzerland (in Zurich, in your case, by your profile location) each year.

It should reflect:
all her earnings, all your earnings,
all her assets, all your assets,
all of your-and-her joint earnings, all of your-and-her joint assets,
plus any assets and earnings your daughter may have (for example if she has inherited something and that is working for her) for as long as she is a minor,
and all of this in and from all countries.
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Old 06.05.2015, 15:03
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Re: Do I need to file in Switzerland if I don't make money here?

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blah blah blah.

My wife is Swiss blah blah blah
And what did she say?

She'll have been completing tax returns for xx years and should know exactly what to fill in.

The answer in short: YES, global income for a married couple resident in Switzerland is taxable. However, the amount of tax is reduced by the amount of tax paid elsewhere.
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Old 06.05.2015, 15:09
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Re: Do I need to file in Switzerland if I don't make money here?

In canton Zürich, you can file for an extension online. You don't have to give a reason, just tell them the new due date you would like (any time until end of September.)

I'd recommend doing that immediately. It'll give you some time to collect documents, figure out the forms etc. without worrying about whatever the penalties for late filing might otherwise be.

Here's the link:
https://www.stadt-zuerich.ch/fd/de/i...streckung.html

EDIT: I just went back and read my own link. In ZH the only extension they give is until September 30, no intermediate dates. In some other cantons (including the one where I live) you can choose to have it at the end of any month.
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Old 06.05.2015, 15:11
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Wow, speedy replies.

Thank you all so much for the quick response. It seems like I should get moving and file quickly.

Yes, my wife has been bugging me to get that sorted out, yet I had no idea how to proceed. It just seemed wrong to be double taxed, but from what I'm reading there is treaty between US and Switzerland for that.

Thanks

Thanks so much, I'll get that going.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 06.05.2015 at 16:02. Reason: merging successive posts
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Old 06.05.2015, 15:14
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Re: Do I need to file in Switzerland if I don't make money here?

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Yes, my wife has been bugging me to get that sorted out, yet I had no idea how to proceed. It just seemed wrong to be double taxed, but from what I'm reading there is treaty between US and Switzerland for that.
You file as a couple - one tax return. Perhaps you should have this conversation with her.
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Old 06.05.2015, 15:16
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Re: Do I need to file in Switzerland if I don't make money here?

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Perhaps you should have this conversation with her.
Exactly my plan. Thanks.
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Old 06.05.2015, 15:19
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Re: Do I need to file in Switzerland if I don't make money here?

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Wow, speedy replies.

Thank you all so much for the quick response. It seems like I should get moving and file quickly.

Yes, my wife has been bugging me to get that sorted out, yet I had no idea how to proceed. It just seemed wrong to be double taxed, but from what I'm reading there is treaty between US and Switzerland for that.

Thanks
Welcome to being an American - and you have the US government to blame for that, not the Swiss.
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Old 06.05.2015, 15:20
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Re: Do I need to file in Switzerland if I don't make money here?

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Welcome to being an American - and you have the US government to blame for that, not the Swiss.
Incorrect. Poster has parents to blame and geographical bad luck.
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Old 06.05.2015, 15:22
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Re: Do I need to file in Switzerland if I don't make money here?

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Welcome to being an American - and you have the US government to blame for that, not the Swiss.
Well, I'm definitely not in the blame game. Just trying to do what's right and required.

Thanks for the reply.
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Old 06.05.2015, 16:06
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Re: Do I need to file in Switzerland if I don't make money here?

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...It just seemed wrong to be double taxed, but from what I'm reading there is treaty between US and Switzerland for that...
It can be a bit confusing, but you're basically double-filing, not double-taxed. As stated above, you must file a joint return in Switzerland on all worldwide income/assets. You'll also mention the U.S. tax paid on that return.

In the U.S. you still have to file a return on all worldwide income, but if your spouse is not a U.S. person for tax purposes, then she does not need to do anything and you can file married-separately. This is what my Swiss OH and I do.
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Old 06.05.2015, 16:10
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Re: Do I need to file in Switzerland if I don't make money here?

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Your wife is Swiss. You and she should be completing a joint tax declaration in Switzerland (in Zurich, in your case, by your profile location) each year.

It should reflect:
all her earnings, all your earnings,
all her assets, all your assets,
all of your-and-her joint earnings, all of your-and-her joint assets,
plus any assets and earnings your daughter may have (for example if she has inherited something and that is working for her) for as long as she is a minor,
and all of this in and from all countries.
This seems to be missing a very important bit:

all the tax either of you paid in other countries

You can't avoid double-taxation if you don't declare that you've already paid!

(as pointed out already by 3Wishes, I need to type faster )

Last edited by newtoswitz; 06.05.2015 at 16:12. Reason: noted 3Wishes already said this!
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Old 06.05.2015, 17:10
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Re: Do I need to file in Switzerland if I don't make money here?

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It can be a bit confusing, but you're basically double-filing, not double-taxed. As stated above, you must file a joint return in Switzerland on all worldwide income/assets. You'll also mention the U.S. tax paid on that return.
Thanks so much, you've made my day. Everyone actually, thanks to all, I'm glad I found this forum.
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Old 06.05.2015, 17:52
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Re: Do I need to file in Switzerland if I don't make money here?

By the way - also check the social security agreement between the US and Switzerland - it is possible that you are exempt from payment, but if so the authorities need to know, otherwise they can fine you.
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Old 06.05.2015, 18:52
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Re: Do I need to file in Switzerland if I don't make money here?

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By the way - also check the social security agreement between the US and Switzerland...
Thanks so much, this actually led me into finding plenty of real useful information. Here's a link to the Summary Of Agreement Rules. Hope it helps others.
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