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Old 20.12.2014, 22:14
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Re: IRS Coming to Switzerland - literally!

The question is whether the activities planned by the IRS during their visit to Switzerland would qualify under a "Business Visitor" exemption. Fragomen, a law firm, lists allowable activities for a "Business Visitor" to Switzerland which do not require a work permit and/ or visa:

"BUSINESS VISITORS

Business Visit Defined – A “business visit” is generally a short-term trip taken to conduct business activities for which work authorization is not required in the destination country. Once a foreign national requires work authorization, she or he is no longer considered a “business visitor” from an immigration perspective, even though the foreign national may be making a very short “visit” to a country for what she or he considers to be “business” purposes.

Allowable Activities – In Switzerland, business visitors must generally limit their activities to the following:
  • Attending business meetings or discussions, including representing their overseas employer in meetings with clients
  • Attending contract negotiations
  • Hosting or attending business presentations
  • Making sales calls to potential Swiss clients, provided that the visitor represents a commercial entity outside of Switzerland
  • Attending seminars or "fact-finding" meetings
If a business trip, even a very brief one, will involve activities other than those outlined above, a work permit and/or visa will typically be required."

Planned IRS activities in Switzerland:
The IRS agents plan to conduct two types of activities while in Switzerland:
a. Give a presentation on US tax law to interested parties.
b. Conduct one-on-one tax consultation sessions with US taxpayers.

Just an opinion:
The presentation would probably be exempt under Business Visitor "Allowable Activities" but the one-on-one tax consultations would not be since this activity is not listed above. The IRS agents should consult competent counsel and probably obtain a work permit and/ or visa prior to their arrival in Switzerland to avoid possible arrest by the Swiss migration authorities.

http://www.fragomen.com/newsresource...maries&news=49
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