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View Poll Results: Have you got a business are interested in how to do things here or save (avoid) tax?
Would like to have a business but boy don't know where to start 163 39.85%
Am a contractor but my pimps are asking me to bend over and hold my ankles every month 27 6.60%
I am a freelancer doing it myself (so to speak) and want to know more 110 26.89%
I have my own legally structured company and don't like paying so much to everybody 50 12.22%
I am employed but am always interested in any way to reduce tax 52 12.71%
I think this is a waste of breath you oxygen thief 7 1.71%
Voters: 409. You may not vote on this poll

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  #201  
Old 27.08.2008, 14:56
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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Welcome to Switzerland.

I can not be of any help at all, having lived through what you are going through, but in Geneva.The cantons all have different rules.

My similar situation required that I declare myself as self employed, and would then be responsible for paying my own taxes and AVS. I do not have adequate French to get me through such a process , so I took the easy way out and gave the private work away.

There are people who use this thread who are very helpful and do have the knowledge, I hope that one of them will be able to help you.

Get in touch , by all means though if you think there is anything at all, I can help with.
Jen
Thank you though Jen for your reply- I also need to brush up on my French/German!
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  #202  
Old 27.08.2008, 15:10
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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I'm still registered for tax in UK as I do not have a permanent job here in Switzerland (although my home is now here). Also as I am not married (although we own a house together in London) I believe that I am not eligible for a partner's living visa. Due to this I am only 'visiting' (I think I am allowed to stay for 3 months at a time) until I can prove that I have a valid freelance business and can apply for a work permit, or get offered a job. Therefore my status at the moment is somewhat in no-man's-land. I presume that I am not allowed to earn any money here if my status continues to be 'visiting', but then how am I supposed to prove that I will be able to work on a freelance basis and therefore apply for a working visa? Or is it possible just to apply to register for self-employed here without proof of earnings and for me to therefore de-register as you suggest from UK tax?
1. deregister from UK tax system if you have moved to Switzerland
2. register in Switzerland as self employed (you can keep your uk clients of course)

You will have 6 months on a B permit to prove yourself financially (although it depends on the enthusiasm of the Kanton as to whether this is followed up - for me, it was not).
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  #203  
Old 15.09.2008, 18:52
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

Dear All;

Apologies in advance if this has already been asked (and answered) but my search terms just don't seem to be working: too many posts containing them.

I own a GmbH registered in Zurich and have recently used a MSc student for some specific advise on a small project. There are no contractual agreements between my company and this student (other than trust). I would like now to pay him for his contribution: this is CHF7500 for 7.5 days of work (I mention this just in case it has any implications). He might have further involvement in other projects in the future but this depends on the nature of the projects.

My question is: Do I just transfer to his account the above mentioned amount and book this in my books as "External Advisor costs"? I assume he is responsible for paying taxes and social security. Am I right or absolutely off-track?

Bonus: Could anybody recommend a good treuhand in Zurich? This is the second one I have and as you can see I have not all the answers (and his is far too expensive for what he does).

Thanks again;

itnas
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  #204  
Old 15.09.2008, 18:55
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

Unless he is registered as "self employed" or has his own company, you are eligeble to pay AHV etc. Is he Swiss? If not you may also have an issue with working permit and tax at source.


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Dear All;

Apologies in advance if this has already been asked (and answered) but my search terms just don't seem to be working: too many posts containing them.

I own a GmbH registered in Zurich and have recently used a MSc student for some specific advise on a small project. There are no contractual agreements between my company and this student (other than trust). I would like now to pay him for his contribution: this is CHF7500 for 7.5 days of work (I mention this just in case it has any implications). He might have further involvement in other projects in the future but this depends on the nature of the projects.

My question is: Do I just transfer to his account the above mentioned amount and book this in my books as "External Advisor costs"? I assume he is responsible for paying taxes and social security. Am I right or absolutely off-track?

Bonus: Could anybody recommend a good treuhand in Zurich? This is the second one I have and as you can see I have not all the answers (and his is far too expensive for what he does).

Thanks again;

itnas
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  #205  
Old 15.09.2008, 19:02
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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Unless he is registered as "self employed" or has his own company, you are eligeble to pay AHV etc. Is he Swiss? If not you may also have an issue with working permit and tax at source.
Thanks for the prompt reply.

He is SWISS, he doesn't have his own company, so just need to find out if he is registered as "self employed". I assume that there is some information on this forum on how to register.

Would it be possible for him to register now even though the work is already finished?

Thanks, again.
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  #206  
Old 15.09.2008, 19:12
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

Less hassle just to pay in the AHV I would say. Do you have more people employeed in your GmbH? Then you just include him at the year-end declaration. You should deduct 6.05% from his "salary" and then, at the end of the year, you will have to pay in this amount plus your equal share, in total 12.1%. You also need to have accident insurance for the people working for you but I assume you already have that :-)

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Thanks for the prompt reply.

He is SWISS, he doesn't have his own company, so just need to find out if he is registered as "self employed". I assume that there is some information on this forum on how to register.

Would it be possible for him to register now even though the work is already finished?

Thanks, again.

Last edited by Tilia; 15.09.2008 at 19:25.
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  #207  
Old 15.09.2008, 20:00
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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Dear All;

Apologies in advance if this has already been asked (and answered) but my search terms just don't seem to be working: too many posts containing them.

I own a GmbH registered in Zurich and have recently used a MSc student for some specific advise on a small project. There are no contractual agreements between my company and this student (other than trust). I would like now to pay him for his contribution: this is CHF7500 for 7.5 days of work (I mention this just in case it has any implications). He might have further involvement in other projects in the future but this depends on the nature of the projects.

My question is: Do I just transfer to his account the above mentioned amount and book this in my books as "External Advisor costs"? I assume he is responsible for paying taxes and social security. Am I right or absolutely off-track?

Bonus: Could anybody recommend a good treuhand in Zurich? This is the second one I have and as you can see I have not all the answers (and his is far too expensive for what he does).

Thanks again;

itnas
Theoretically, it is the contractor's responsibility to settle with the AHV. In practice, you as employer can be held responsible for not deducted AHV. Suggest you contact the Zurich AHV office to ensure compliance.
http://www.svazurich.ch/home.cfm
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  #208  
Old 15.09.2008, 21:51
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

Itnas, if your buddy is going to provide such services more regularly to various clients, it makes sense for him to register as a sole trader (Einzelfirma).
Otherwise you pay his AHV, as mentioned above. Also starting at CHF19'350 per year, you'd have to take care of his BVG.

I know a good and reliable Treuhand in Dübendorf, you can contact me privately for his address.
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  #209  
Old 16.09.2008, 22:19
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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Itnas, if your buddy is going to provide such services more regularly to various clients, it makes sense for him to register as a sole trader (Einzelfirma).
Otherwise you pay his AHV, as mentioned above. Also starting at CHF19'350 per year, you'd have to take care of his BVG.

I know a good and reliable Treuhand in Dübendorf, you can contact me privately for his address.
Only employees are entitled to BVG (pension plan). The student is obviously not an employee.
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  #210  
Old 17.09.2008, 08:35
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

Unless he is a temporary employee, employed for more than three months. Then the insurance and BVG requirements for your employees kick-in.

If he is doing this "self employed" then his status should be checked with SVA or Commercial Register, else if you pay gross, you risk later having to pay his insurances too, when he is judged to be your temporary employee.

dave

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Only employees are entitled to BVG (pension plan). The student is obviously not an employee.
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  #211  
Old 27.09.2008, 01:46
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Thanks very much Goldtop

Any other folks who have experiences to share are much appreciated.
I Assume you are wanting to minimize your tax commitment in which case ignore all that goldtop told you which is how it would be if you did not want to do this. Then PM me for details.
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  #212  
Old 27.09.2008, 17:54
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I Assume you are wanting to minimize your tax commitment in which case ignore all that Goldtop told you which is how it would be if you did not want to do this. Then PM me for details.
I am intrigued. Were my inputs false? We all want to know Richard's smarter strategy!
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  #213  
Old 28.09.2008, 23:01
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I am intrigued. Were my inputs false? We all want to know Richard's smarter strategy!
Your inputs are generally excellent hence I generally leave you to it. On this occassion your input could be interpreted in a way which would leave our Malaysian nearly Swiss friend out of pocket.
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  #214  
Old 02.10.2008, 23:20
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

Can anyone recommend any good and trustworthy book keepers (accountants) that can help small growing businesses (yes mine) with their book keeping, and some guidance on do's and don'ts as far as the tax man is concerned. (English speaking of course and knowledge of VD taxes).

So far we have been managing it all but I can use some help with our growth.
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  #215  
Old 02.10.2008, 23:50
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

PCDesigns,

You can find a recommendation in this thread: here

Or just ask Richard. It amazes me out with how much he knows!!
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  #216  
Old 02.10.2008, 23:53
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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PCDesigns,

You can find a recommendation in this thread: here

Or just ask Richard. It amazes me out with how much he knows!!
missed that thread line.
Thanks
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  #217  
Old 14.10.2008, 16:29
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

I have just read this thread from start to finish and am very impressed with the level of knowledge and helpfulness - it has been very useful to me indeed.

That said, I don't think it quite covers my situation and I have already asked E&Y in ZH who do my accounts and they have been suitably vague - probably because of their size compared to mine.

I am the CEO of a UK-based Ltd company and own 30% of the same (non-salaried but fee-earning) with dividends being retained as carried-over profit in the company deposit accounts. I live in Kanton SZ and work from a home-based office (our own home). I do not pay personal tax in the UK, only UK Corporation tax. I pay CH income tax but as an individual, currently unregistered as anything other than half of a husband and wife combo. She works for C-S and does not PAYE. I think my tax liability has been fair but I also know it can improve... 25% of my income is from recovered expenses (with 17.5% UK VAT included) so there is an instant saving to be had there in theory.

Would being a GmbH make sense for me and my wife? Or should I look at another structure...
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  #218  
Old 14.10.2008, 16:33
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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I have just read this thread from start to finish and am very impressed with the level of knowledge and helpfulness - it has been very useful to me indeed.

That said, I don't think it quite covers my situation and I have already asked E&Y in ZH who do my accounts and they have been suitably vague - probably because of their size compared to mine.

I am the CEO of a UK-based Ltd company and own 30% of the same (non-salaried but fee-earning) with dividends being retained as carried-over profit in the company deposit accounts. I live in Kanton SZ and work from a home-based office (our own home). I do not pay personal tax in the UK, only UK Corporation tax. I pay CH income tax but as an individual, currently unregistered as anything other than half of a husband and wife combo. She works for C-S and does not PAYE. I think my tax liability has been fair but I also know it can improve... 25% of my income is from recovered expenses (with 17.5% UK VAT included) so there is an instant saving to be had there in theory.

Would being a GmbH make sense for me and my wife? Or should I look at another structure...
If you want an honest and correct answer you would really need to walk through your circumstances in detail. Given the above the correct answer is maybe...
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  #219  
Old 14.10.2008, 20:49
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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I have just read this thread from start to finish and am very impressed with the level of knowledge and helpfulness - it has been very useful to me indeed.

That said, I don't think it quite covers my situation and I have already asked E&Y in ZH who do my accounts and they have been suitably vague - probably because of their size compared to mine.

I am the CEO of a UK-based Ltd company and own 30% of the same (non-salaried but fee-earning) with dividends being retained as carried-over profit in the company deposit accounts. I live in Kanton SZ and work from a home-based office (our own home). I do not pay personal tax in the UK, only UK Corporation tax. I pay CH income tax but as an individual, currently unregistered as anything other than half of a husband and wife combo. She works for C-S and does not PAYE. I think my tax liability has been fair but I also know it can improve... 25% of my income is from recovered expenses (with 17.5% UK VAT included) so there is an instant saving to be had there in theory.

Would being a GmbH make sense for me and my wife? Or should I look at another structure...
Prima vista, it is surprising that E&Y cannot give you specific advice! They have the skills and resources. They also have all the facts on your situation. Probable reasons for their reticence are:
  • You are too small (your hypothesis). But if you are willing to pay their hourly rates then they should help?
  • Your tax situation is complex. If so, forum members are no substitute for professional expertise.
  • E&Y fear being creative because the tax authorities might accuse them of aiding and abetting tax evasion. That was my experience with another big accounting firm.
So what can you do? You could:
  • Network with others , e.g. some of the smart members here.
  • Study the pertinent tax laws and judgments.
  • Formulate a strategy that you can then sound E&Y on. They may be willing to study it and orally OK it.
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Caveat lector!
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  #220  
Old 14.10.2008, 21:59
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

Thanks both, helpful as ever. I have a strategy to put to E&Y and see if they are willing to think outside the norm...
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