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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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  #61  
Old 02.10.2007, 13:39
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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Hi Shorrick

When I sell on ebay the price is final. In Europe then I have to deduct VAT (in France 19.6% sh#t!!) from the end price. Outside I just send as-is and the importer pays the VAT upon entry into their country and based on the insured value.

Often people try to get around this by arranging shipping themselves (declaring less insured value) or collecting in person and hoping to get through the duane without being stopped. Funny business but I won't take part in falsifying customs invoices.

If I sell within CH then obviously I have to pay the 7.6% VAT.

Richard
Sorry but you have lost me here. Are you still in Strasbourg or are you now in Switzerland?

Assuming you are now living in Switzerland then yes you need to charge the 7.6% VAT and pay it although I would guess your turnover is small enough for you to be opting for turnover VAT and not ordinary VAT.
If you sell abroad you effectively export and here you need to have proof of delivery to a foreign country or at least proof of exit from Switzerland in order to be able to claim back the VAT. Whether you are deducting the VAT is very dependent on the terms of the sale. It could well be that you are simply not adding it... In any case the VAT that you will deduct for a sale in France from Switzerland will be the Swiss VAT and not the French VAT. The customer will then be liable for paying the French VAT on import.

If you are doing this any differently I strongly suggest reading the little book on VAT you get when you register for VAT in Switzerland. This covers exporting to the EU.
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  #62  
Old 02.10.2007, 13:45
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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Hi Richard, thanks for all the **great** advice.

Would you have any comments for people that are currently employed full-time and wish to start up a business that they anticipate will take a couple of years to grow enough in order to resign from their full-time employement?

Cheers

Matt
Comments apart from Good Luck!

Firstly make sure that you have a reasonable business plan and a strategy for growth. Have this independently worked over and discuss the outcome. It could well be that you are living through rose coloured glasses especially when it comes to running your own business. It is better to pay the x00 Francs to get this checked before you start than to invest all the time and effort kicking something off that is never going to work in the real world.

You also need to make sure that you take note of the hours you are working on your little venture. The point here is that if you are earning SFr. 50 per hour in your day job and are only earning SFr. 25 in your night job is it worthwhile swapping?! It might be that just depends on your objectives.

Make sure that you plan everything pessimistically and plan slow growth rather than a boom. It is better to have things running ahead of a low line than always sweating that they are not keeping up with your (too)high expectations. Don't plan to employ anyone for something you can do yourself. ie be a tight wad at the beginning.
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  #63  
Old 03.10.2007, 22:57
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

In the absence of a VAT number and registered company (as turnover currently below the VAT threshold), must one declare any additional income somewhere? There is an entry on the Steuererklärung for additional income, but not sure if this is the right route to go. I assume there must also be some kind of threshold for this Nebeneinkommen? Anyone on the forum in a similar situation, i.e. working full time but maybe developing a business on the side who has made some experience with this? Thanks!
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  #64  
Old 04.10.2007, 14:29
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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In the absence of a VAT number and registered company (as turnover currently below the VAT threshold), must one declare any additional income somewhere? There is an entry on the Steuererklärung for additional income, but not sure if this is the right route to go. I assume there must also be some kind of threshold for this Nebeneinkommen? Anyone on the forum in a similar situation, i.e. working full time but maybe developing a business on the side who has made some experience with this? Thanks!
Yes income on ths side must be fully declared. From this income you can deduct all the expenses made in generating it which might add up to more than the income itself. There is no threshold ie the threshold is 0... This of course assumes that you have employment elsewhere.
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  #65  
Old 09.10.2007, 15:45
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

First off thanks for the wealth of information. I'm in a similar situation and we exchanged some emails in the past however since I was pressed for time I continued to work with my payroll company. so basically I

Am a contractor but my pimps are asking me to bend over and hold my ankles every month

Anyway, my initial contract is for 3 months until the end of the year. The end customer is already speaking of extending for an additional year so I should be looking into setting up a GmbH.

Basically just wanted to thank you guys (an especially Richard) for all the information!!!
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  #66  
Old 09.10.2007, 23:01
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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I will answer all of these within the next two weeks...

Hi Richard,
did you reply to this by PM? Any chance of letting us in on the reply or did I miss it )?

Once again thanks for taking the time to share!
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  #67  
Old 10.10.2007, 11:37
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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Hi Richard,
did you reply to this by PM? Any chance of letting us in on the reply or did I miss it )?

Once again thanks for taking the time to share!
No you never missed it. During my two weeks I was going to do this I fell ill with flu - one of the many and was pretty much confined to my desk and my bed. Now that I have recovered I will write the details in the next 4 days...
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  #68  
Old 10.10.2007, 14:42
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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No you never missed it. During my two weeks I was going to do this I fell ill with flu - one of the many and was pretty much confined to my desk and my bed. Now that I have recovered I will write the details in the next 4 days...
Hope it was nothing serious! I'm happy that you're back on your feet.

Cheers
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  #69  
Old 10.10.2007, 20:43
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

Forgive...a possibly dumb question.

If one works as a small time contractor, eg translating, writing, editing or conducting business over the internet whereby the clients are always outside of the country, does the contractor still have to set up a GmBH?

Thanks
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  #70  
Old 10.10.2007, 20:46
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

Mah bad. Found the answer in another thread.
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  #71  
Old 11.10.2007, 00:07
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

Hello Everyone,

Just wanted to chip in to say thanks to everyone who has been contributing to this thread. Extremely informative and incredibly generous of you to spend so much time helping us all out!

I am also hoping to start a small business in the Lac Leman area and was wondering first of all if I would need to be living in Switzerland to do so, or if I can remain based just over the border in France? (My wife works in Geneva on a 'G' permit) Even if this is possible, is it likely to create serious complications regarding tax, bank account, working permit etc?

Hope this is relevant to the thread.

Thanks again
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  #72  
Old 11.10.2007, 05:46
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

Just wanted to join in with all the THANKS to Richard for taking the time to explain this very interesting and important topic. Look forward to reading some more of your valuable notes - they are very helpful!
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  #73  
Old 16.10.2007, 00:09
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

Hi, thanks for the great help that is provided on here by very kind people> my question may have been answered before, but I can't find it. So here goes.
I am a British citizen
My partner is an Italian citizen.
We now work and reside in Italy.
We have now found a house near Lugano.
We want to move there and need to register as residents.
My partner will continue to work in Italy and commute.
I want to consult in training on a freelance basis in lugano.
My question is what permits do I need?. I went to the office in mendrisio. they said fill in a form and prove that you have the means.
After reading this forum I'm now confused as to all these L B and whatever job permits. Do i need one? I don't have just one employer to apply for me.The company that offered me some trainig work on a free lance basis says they need a permit from the swiss authorities.
Any help you could give me will be appreciated. Also Should I start a company for tax reasons.
Thanks in advance.
Donna
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  #74  
Old 16.10.2007, 00:21
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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Yes income on ths side must be fully declared. From this income you can deduct all the expenses made in generating it which might add up to more than the income itself. There is no threshold ie the threshold is 0... This of course assumes that you have employment elsewhere.
Am I right if I add a small caveat note - the side income will be lumped to "employment income" when the tax rate is determined. You want to make sure that the side income is actually worth it...
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  #75  
Old 16.10.2007, 00:56
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

Hi
Can anyone answer my query?
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  #76  
Old 18.10.2007, 14:19
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

Hi Richard (Fountain of Knowledge)

Thanks for all the great advice in not only this thread, but also for your general advice/assistance throughout the forum.

I would appreciate it tremendously if you would offer me some advice regarding 2nd pillar withdrawals. My understanding is that you can withdraw your 2nd pillar either if you leave Switzerland (only to non-EU/EFTA countries though, but that's not the point) or if you become self-employed. Upon withdrawal, is this amount subject to withholding tax? If not, then great! However I assume that it will be, so therefore present the following scenario:

Withdrawal of 100'000; 35% withholding tax of 35'000 retained, so 65'000 working capital to play with. Now ... I 'manage' to make a loss of 50'000 during the tax year, so my income for the year is reduced to 50'000 (100'000 2nd pillar as income less the 50'000 loss). Say my tax rate is 15% (for argument's sake). My total liability to Mr Tax for the year is therefore 7'500. He's already received 35'000 from me, so does that therefore mean that he will (probably only in a few years though ) refund me 27'500?

Another question. If I withdraw my 2nd pillar and plough it into self-employment, my current 2nd pillar balance will be zero. Am I then entitled to top it up during the ensuing years (tax-efficiently, obviously) to what it would/should have been had I remained an employee? Say it should have been worth 200'000, am I allowed to put 200'000 into a 2nd pillar (vesting?) account immediately, however subject to a maximum amount allowed to be tax deductible? Is there a limit?

Sorry if my questions are vague/difficult to understand, but if you need any further info. I'd be more than happy to 'attempt' to explain it better.

Thanks in advance,
Jeff
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  #77  
Old 18.10.2007, 15:02
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

Oh yes. I forgot to mention that these questions aren't directed only at Richard. If anybody else has any input ...
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  #78  
Old 19.10.2007, 18:43
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

The 35% withholding tax is only levied on interest/gains earned on assets, not on the assets themselves. Also if you report these earnings to the taxman on your tax return, you are entitled to get back the 35%.
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Old 19.10.2007, 18:47
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

Thanks Mica. Does that mean then that the 2nd pillar won't be taxed at all (except of course the crazily minimal amount of interest earned since inception)?
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  #80  
Old 19.10.2007, 21:56
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Re: Help for Businesses/Freelancers in CH

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Thanks Mica. Does that mean then that the 2nd pillar won't be taxed at all (except of course the crazily minimal amount of interest earned since inception)?

As far as I understand that is the case but would like to hear from anyone else who can confirm or not my understanding
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