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  #41  
Old 30.03.2011, 14:33
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Re: Opening a Mortgage account with UBS - US Citizen disclosure papers?

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Runningdeer meant no offence (in my opinion). It's just that there is a running joke on the forum that people worry that 120k won't be enough to live on here en Suisse. And 120k is over the IRS threshhold for tax-free foreign earned income, which from memory is somewhere around $80,000.
It's higher now, plus there is the housing exclusion, so reality is more like 130k exclusion, then dependents, etc.

Tom
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  #42  
Old 30.03.2011, 14:35
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Re: Opening a Mortgage account with UBS - US Citizen disclosure papers?

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I've opened my PostFinance account a long time ago. They don't know I am American - because they never asked.
Well, from the Swiss point of view, if you are Swiss and living in Switzerland, you are Swiss, and only Swiss.

The Americans may view it differently, but the Swiss do not.

Tom
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  #43  
Old 30.03.2011, 14:58
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Re: Opening a Mortgage account with UBS - US Citizen disclosure papers?

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Well, from the Swiss point of view, if you are Swiss and living in Switzerland, you are Swiss, and only Swiss.

The Americans may view it differently, but the Swiss do not.

Tom
Postfinance asked for my passport to open the account, thus revealing my secret American citizenship and putting me in the IRS compliance pile.
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  #44  
Old 30.03.2011, 15:10
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Re: Opening a Mortgage account with UBS - US Citizen disclosure papers?

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Postfinance asked for my passport to open the account, thus revealing my secret American citizenship and putting me in the IRS compliance pile.
Why didn't you give them the Swiss one?

Besides, not all US citizens have US passports, so what then?

Tom
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  #45  
Old 30.03.2011, 15:11
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Re: Opening a Mortgage account with UBS - US Citizen disclosure papers?

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I just heard back from our banker - he said it's no problem at all.
Funny, that's what a lot of US citizens being indicted for taxfraud said as well, they believed what their UBS banker said.

Not that I would doubt a UBS banker, but would highly advise you reading up on the FATCA legislation, the IRS non-filing penalities, and the FBAR amnesty programme.
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  #46  
Old 30.03.2011, 15:15
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Re: Opening a Mortgage account with UBS - US Citizen disclosure papers?

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Why didn't you give them the Swiss one?

Besides, not all US citizens have US passports, so what then?

Tom
My Swiss ID had not been issued yet and I needed a bank account to conduct business. For those other US citizens they can do what they want, accepting the consequences of their actions. In response to the OP, I wanted to relay that I was a known Ami and could still use financial services.
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  #47  
Old 30.03.2011, 15:34
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Re: Opening a Mortgage account with UBS - US Citizen disclosure papers?

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I just heard back from our banker - he said it's no problem at all.
well, that's what he would say. after all, he's after your business. no skin off his nose if the law or practice changes and the US starts to come after it's overseas peons.

i doubt the US politicians would lose many votes from heavily taxing non-resident citizens. hell, they could paint them all as un-patriotic tax dodgers and tax them to the hilt.
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  #48  
Old 30.03.2011, 15:55
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Re: Opening a Mortgage account with UBS - US Citizen disclosure papers?

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hell, they could paint them all as un-patriotic tax dodgers and tax them to the hilt.
Ah, that was so 2010....now it's throw them in jail, ban them from the NYSE, and still tax them to the hilt with penalties, withholding, etc.
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  #49  
Old 30.03.2011, 17:39
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Re: Opening a Mortgage account with UBS - US Citizen disclosure papers?

Ok... it seems a lot of people on here are showing up the penalties and fines and prison time etc. which I could be facing. However - I still am failing to understand the real risk here. So worst case - they find me and they send me a huge tax bill or fine or whatever. I am pretty sure if I ignore it absolutely nothing will happen. The IRS' problem is that they have absolutely no jurisdiction outside of the US.

The only problem I might face is that I might not be able to go to the US for another 15 years. Well I think I would survive that.
Worst case I renounce my citizenship - then what?

Also I don't understand why they don't inform their citizens about this. They can't expect that a passport holder just sits down one day and says to himself... I wonder if I should be paying taxes in the US?
They informed me about my SSN, the Selective Service System, all kinds of things that I needed to be informed about as an US Citizen abroad. However I have never received a letter or anything from the consulate in Switzerland informing me about having to pay taxes. Wouldn't that be much easier than trying to get Swiss banks to hand over their client data?
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  #50  
Old 30.03.2011, 17:55
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Re: Opening a Mortgage account with UBS - US Citizen disclosure papers?

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However - I still am failing to understand the real risk here.
I've told this story before, but... random times while going through US immigration, both my husband and I have each been given the 'Welcome back - and thanks for paying your taxes!' greeting from the nice man behind the desk. It would seem that the IRS may link to other government systems...

So when you enter the US (bearing in mind that the law says you must enter on your US passport) I guess you've got to ask yourself, 'Do I feel lucky?'

Me, I have a low tolerance for risk. Especially risk involving the IRS.

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Also I don't understand why they don't inform their citizens about this. They can't expect that a passport holder just sits down one day and says to himself... I wonder if I should be paying taxes in the US?
They did inform you - take a look at your US passport, last page, point D:

"All US citizens working and residing abroad are required to file and report on their worldwide income. Consult IRS publication 54. 'Tax Guide For US Citizens And Resident Aliens Abroad."

They even give you a handy interweb link.
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  #51  
Old 30.03.2011, 18:01
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Re: Opening a Mortgage account with UBS - US Citizen disclosure papers?

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I've told this story before, but... random times while going through US immigration, both my husband and I have each been given the 'Welcome back - and thanks for paying your taxes!' greeting from the nice man behind the desk. It would seem that the IRS may link to other government systems...

So when you enter the US (bearing in mind that the law says you must enter on your US passport) I guess you've got to ask yourself, 'Do I feel lucky?'

Me, I have a low tolerance for risk. Especially risk involving the IRS.
Well - once in the last 15 years and no plans for the future make this a bearable risk.

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They did inform you - take a look at your US passport, last page, point D:

"All US citizens working and residing abroad are required to file and report on their worldwide income. Consult IRS publication 54. 'Tax Guide For US Citizens And Resident Aliens Abroad."

They even give you a handy interweb link.
I didn't know that
I will dig out my passport and have a look.
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  #52  
Old 31.03.2011, 09:38
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Re: Opening a Mortgage account with UBS - US Citizen disclosure papers?

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The IRS' problem is that they have absolutely no jurisdiction outside of the US.
I wouldn't be so sure of that. From my understanding, they would indeed have jurisdiction over a US citizen living abroad, and they have a long reach. They definitely use interpol and the like when necessary.

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Also I don't understand why they don't inform their citizens about this.
You can always claim ignorarance, but in this day and age of internet communication and world media, it would seem very unlikely someone would of not heard of the UBS-IRS case that hit all the swiss news and world headlines in recent times. As a valid US passport holder and social security card holder, they would definitely have you in the system anyhow, irregardless if you travel to the US.

Good luck.
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  #53  
Old 31.03.2011, 18:20
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Re: Opening a Mortgage account with UBS - US Citizen disclosure papers?

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Ok... it seems a lot of people on here are showing up the penalties and fines and prison time etc. which I could be facing. However - I still am failing to understand the real risk here. So worst case - they find me and they send me a huge tax bill or fine or whatever. I am pretty sure if I ignore it absolutely nothing will happen. The IRS' problem is that they have absolutely no jurisdiction outside of the US.

The only problem I might face is that I might not be able to go to the US for another 15 years. Well I think I would survive that.
Worst case I renounce my citizenship - then what?
If you renounce it before they find you, then no problem. If they send you the tax bill, then renouncing your citizenship won't let you off from paying the bill.

Even worse, when one renounces citizenship, he/she may still be required to file tax returns to the IRS for 10 more years if he/she had a high tax liability or a high net worth (not very difficult condition if you own a house in Switzerland).

If it is not a big deal for you about visiting the US (it appears you don't have friends or relatives there), then why do you want to keep the passport and take the risk? Perhaps sentimental reasons? It doesn't seem worth it to me, but it is up to you.
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  #54  
Old 01.04.2011, 20:01
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Re: Opening a Mortgage account with UBS - US Citizen disclosure papers?

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when one renounces citizenship, he/she may still be required to file tax returns to the IRS for 10 more years if he/she had a high tax liability or a high net worth (not very difficult condition if you own a house in Switzerland).
This is no longer true. To renounce you US citizenship you "simply" need to be up-to-date with your IRS obligations. Exception : if you own more than a certain amount (600'000 USD I think) you are subject to the exit tax. Google it to learn more about it.

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If it is not a big deal for you about visiting the US (it appears you don't have friends or relatives there), then why do you want to keep the passport and take the risk? Perhaps sentimental reasons? It doesn't seem worth it to me, but it is up to you.
Because it can be very expensive, especially if you have never heard about the IRS and their requirements. Before letting you go they will ask you to file the previous 6 years and of course pay taxes and penalties for these 6 years...

Regarding FATCA, it seems that there is a de minimis exemption : if the balance account is less than 50'000 USD, the financial institution will not have the obligation to report the account as a US account. But its at the discretion of the FI.... The legislation is still very vague and it should be clarified in the upcoming months.
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Old 01.04.2011, 20:32
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Re: Opening a Mortgage account with UBS - US Citizen disclosure papers?

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I agree it is a different question all together, however, forgive me for disagreeing with the second part of your statement.

Taxes are typically paid for services provided by the government (ie - sanitation, water, property, police/fire, schools, roads, etc). As he would derive no benefit from the system, while living here, why should he be required to pay taxes?

I apologize if that comes off as rude.
defense, evacuation of a countries citizens..
Assistance from the embassy. etc
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Old 01.04.2011, 20:34
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Re: Opening a Mortgage account with UBS - US Citizen disclosure papers?

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I wouldn't be so sure of that. From my understanding, they would indeed have jurisdiction over a US citizen living abroad, and they have a long reach. They definitely use interpol and the like when necessary.



You can always claim ignorarance, but in this day and age of internet communication and world media, it would seem very unlikely someone would of not heard of the UBS-IRS case that hit all the swiss news and world headlines in recent times. As a valid US passport holder and social security card holder, they would definitely have you in the system anyhow, irregardless if you travel to the US.

Good luck.
In matters of law ignorance is not a defense
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  #57  
Old 01.04.2011, 20:37
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Re: Opening a Mortgage account with UBS - US Citizen disclosure papers?

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Ok... it seems a lot of people on here are showing up the penalties and fines and prison time etc. which I could be facing. However - I still am failing to understand the real risk here. So worst case - they find me and they send me a huge tax bill or fine or whatever. I am pretty sure if I ignore it absolutely nothing will happen. The IRS' problem is that they have absolutely no jurisdiction outside of the US.

The only problem I might face is that I might not be able to go to the US for another 15 years. Well I think I would survive that.
Worst case I renounce my citizenship - then what?

Also I don't understand why they don't inform their citizens about this. They can't expect that a passport holder just sits down one day and says to himself... I wonder if I should be paying taxes in the US?
They informed me about my SSN, the Selective Service System, all kinds of things that I needed to be informed about as an US Citizen abroad. However I have never received a letter or anything from the consulate in Switzerland informing me about having to pay taxes. Wouldn't that be much easier than trying to get Swiss banks to hand over their client data?
But the US dept of Justice does when it involves US citizens, why do you think Switzerland and the swiss banks especially UBS were quaking in their boots when the Us wanted the names of the US citizens accounts. If they had not turned them over UBS would have been indicted in the US ... game over
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Old 01.04.2011, 20:40
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Re: Opening a Mortgage account with UBS - US Citizen disclosure papers?

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Why didn't you give them the Swiss one?

Besides, not all US citizens have US passports, so what then?

Tom
Yes if they have never left the US maybe. But wouldn't one need a passport to get into Switzerland?
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  #59  
Old 01.04.2011, 20:42
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Re: Opening a Mortgage account with UBS - US Citizen disclosure papers?

To be honest I find it hard to believe that people have not heard of this obligation as an US citizen/residence permit holder, have you never filed taxes in Switzerland? or somewhere else? the question are you an US citizen/green card holder is always there...that should raise a red flag.
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Old 01.04.2011, 20:45
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Re: Opening a Mortgage account with UBS - US Citizen disclosure papers?

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What repercussions? An IRS agent showing up at my door with a tax bill?
Don't get yourself worked up about the rhetoric. I know plenty of US citizens that don't bother with taxes in the US and don't plan to start. US is good for using "scare" tactics by making an example of a few to get the many inline. US is broke at the moment, so they are scavenging the seven seas to get money. I agree that it's totally unfair, and as one poster stated, it's making having US citizenship a drag. I love the US but it's not the country it was once was, nor will it ever be. People are realizing there are other wonderful places in the world to live. I think the US is the only country that has "double taxation." As some say "don't fix it if it ain't broke." Many avoid it by not announcing their US citizenship, it becomes a non-factor. As of yet I know of no-one who have had any repercussions for doing so. Of course this is only MHO.
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