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Old 09.06.2009, 15:31
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Receiving Payments in CHF

Having read this thread and this one about opening bank accounts in CH from abroad, it appears that the simplest and least costly route is an account with PostFinance.

One of my reasons for wanting such an account is to be able to receive payments in CH from those for whom I do freelance web development, and I understand the way funds are transferred between accounts is a different than in the US, and I've never had to deal with that before...

So, could anyone confirm whether or not this would be a viable way of handling that? In other words, is there any reason why a Swiss individual or business couldn't make payments directly to me via my private PostFinance account?
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Old 09.06.2009, 15:37
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Re: Receiving Payments in CHF

Hi there

Actually the only problem I foresee is that I don't think that PostFinance will open an account for a non-resident.

Of course I I stand to be corrected on both on whether you are non-resident and on PostFinance

Good Luck and please post back on the outcome
Nats
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Old 09.06.2009, 16:29
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Re: Receiving Payments in CHF

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Actually the only problem I foresee is that I don't think that PostFinance will open an account for a non-resident.
My only reason for think otherwise is this person's experience. (Of course, I'm in the US, not Romania, and PF may respond differently to my request, due to the intimidation of the US govt. )

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Good Luck and please post back on the outcome
Thanks, and I will.
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Old 09.06.2009, 16:36
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Re: Receiving Payments in CHF

Maybe you could have a buddy keep the account for you, and whenever enough money is transferred into it, he could send it to you using XE.com or a similar service?

Not that I am thinking of anyone in particular ...
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Old 09.06.2009, 17:15
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Re: Receiving Payments in CHF

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Maybe you could have a buddy keep the account for you, and whenever enough money is transferred into it, he could send it to you using XE.com or a similar service?

Not that I am thinking of anyone in particular ...
Your buddy would become taxable and might have to defend charges of "money laundering".
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Old 10.06.2009, 01:21
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Re: Receiving Payments in CHF

Okay, I'm reporting back...

PostFinance apparently will not open an account online if you don't live in one of the countries in the picture here.

I have emailed the person who apparently opened a PostFinance account while living in Romania, asking how that worked, and will report back if/when I get an answer.

(I suspect that the account may simply have been opened in person prior to relocating.)
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Old 10.06.2009, 10:12
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Re: Receiving Payments in CHF

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Your buddy would become taxable and might have to defend charges of "money laundering".
Not sure. What if Texaner (US) bills the buddy (CH) and the buddy (CH) bills the client (CH)? Sort of like a subcontractor or "importer of Texaner services" relationship.

For the buddy it would be a zero-sum game, inflow = outflow so no gain and no taxes.

And with regards to money laundering, if invoices exist and the receiver of the funds is clear, I don't think it's questionable.
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Old 10.06.2009, 10:27
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Re: Receiving Payments in CHF

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Not sure. What if Texaner (US) bills the buddy (CH) and the buddy (CH) bills the client (CH)? Sort of like a subcontractor or "importer of Texaner services" relationship.

For the buddy it would be a zero-sum game, inflow = outflow so no gain and no taxes.

And with regards to money laundering, if invoices exist and the receiver of the funds is clear, I don't think it's questionable.
I doubt it, many criminal schemes operate in precisely this way, a mark is offered a job, all they have to do is set up a bank account to receive and forward money, for which they receive a small commission.

Of course, the money comes from nefarious sources, and the mark looks like the guilty party.

Last edited by cyrus; 10.06.2009 at 15:47.
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Old 10.06.2009, 10:31
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Re: Receiving Payments in CHF

Maybe Texaner could set up an account in another European country that is more open to U.S. domicile clients than Switzerland? As long as its within SEPA, transfers from Swiss clients' accounts would be cheap or free.
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Old 10.06.2009, 12:28
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Re: Receiving Payments in CHF

I would think the way to do this above board would be for Texaner to draw up a contract with whoever who would be handling the transactions in Switzerland (so as to avoid the appearance of money laundering), and then - since the U.S. tax folks want to know everything - report the transactionson Schedule C.

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Old 10.06.2009, 15:25
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Re: Receiving Payments in CHF

I wouldn't want to put any friend in a position of potentially having to defend himself against legal accusations, even though they would be baseless and he would ultimately be found innocent. The hassle and lost time would only add stress to his life, not to mention the friendship.

Better to do things according to the rules, IMHO, so that there's no reason for suspicion all around.

According to the poster I cited above, he successfully applied online for (and got) a PostFinance account without living in CH or a neighboring country. So I'm trying that after all. Of course, he was not from the US, so my results may still be different.

In any case, since I plan to visit CH later this year, I can open a bona fide bank account at that time. I was just interested in getting that out of the way sooner, if possible, if only to have more time to do more enjoyable things.

BTW, forwarding the funds out of CH isn't necessarily even an issue, as I'm interested in building a modest nest-egg in CHF. I'll likely leave it right there in the account for future use, particularly when I'm physically in Suisse.
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Old 10.06.2009, 15:44
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Re: Receiving Payments in CHF

However, when me & my x 1st moved to Switzerland and opened a Post account. We had to provide proof of us living here (our B-permits) to be able to open an account! Just wanted to tell ya...
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Old 10.06.2009, 15:53
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Re: Receiving Payments in CHF

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However, when me & my x 1st moved to Switzerland and opened a Post account. We had to provide proof of us living here (our B-permits) to be able to open an account! Just wanted to tell ya...
Thanks. I also fully expect to have to prove my identity and locality, probably by supplying a notarized copy of my passport. I think that's pretty much SOP, regardless of nationality or actual place of residence.
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Old 10.06.2009, 18:06
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Re: Receiving Payments in CHF

After the UBS debacle with the IRS, almost no bank will take the money of a US resident.
I did try the postbank and they said no. Same for Reiffeisen, Migros bank, CS, and of course UBS.
Only one bank was willing to "maybe" consider without guarantee was a state bank and only if coming in person to the main branch.
You can thank Senator Levin.
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Old 10.06.2009, 19:05
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Re: Receiving Payments in CHF

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After the UBS debacle with the IRS, almost no bank will take the money of a US resident.
I did try the postbank and they said no. Same for Reiffeisen, Migros bank, CS, and of course UBS.
Only one bank was willing to "maybe" consider without guarantee was a state bank and only if coming in person to the main branch.
You can thank Senator Levin.
Frankly, I would avoid CS and UBS anyway. Both got caught with their hands in the Fed's funny business cookie jar along with so many major US financial institutions, and (more importantly) both officially do business in the US, making them particularly vulnerable to US federal regulation, intervention, coercion, manipulation, etc., and hard-pressed to rely solely on Swiss banking law when it comes to records disclosure policy.

I, too, have been cheerfully invited to open an account at a Kantonalbank only in person and it sounds like that will also be the response I'll get from PostFinance.

Should the US government's prestige and influence abroad eventually diminish as I expect it to, perhaps Swiss bankers will again find their backbone.
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Old 10.06.2009, 19:31
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Re: Receiving Payments in CHF

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Frankly, I would avoid CS and UBS anyway. Both got caught with their hands in the Fed's funny business cookie jar along with so many major US financial institutions, and (more importantly) both officially do business in the US, making them particularly vulnerable to US federal regulation, intervention, coercion, manipulation, etc., and hard-pressed to rely solely on Swiss banking law when it comes to records disclosure policy.

I, too, have been cheerfully invited to open an account at a Kantonalbank only in person and it sounds like that will also be the response I'll get from PostFinance.

Should the US government's prestige and influence abroad eventually diminish as I expect it to, perhaps Swiss bankers will again find their backbone.
In my case, it was my late mother's inheritance. Nothing illegal. She was Swiss, resided in Switzerland, and had her savings at UBS.
They did not want to deal with me and just sent me a check in US$. I tried to look for other solutions to no availability.
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