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Old 25.08.2011, 07:53
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Foreigners with Swiss Bank Accounts

It looks as if the Swiss are giving in to the anonymity of bank accounts gradually.

The Swiss banks are deducting between 19% to 34% of the capital on bank accounts of UK residents that have bank accounts in Switzerland.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-14649194

Last month Switzerland gave in to Germany and now the UK so it will probably follow for all EC member countries soon.
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Old 25.08.2011, 08:46
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Re: Foreigners with Swiss Bank Accounts

something similar in effect has been in operation for years, but that was only on the interest gained in the swiss account - ill find the details.

however if people want to hide money its easy, they just have a swiss resident open a group bank account
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Old 27.08.2011, 17:23
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Re: Foreigners with Swiss Bank Accounts

I did post on this forum a couple of years ago that Banks are not trustworthy often due to employees leaving and selling information to Tax Offices abroad.
I posted that Safe Deposit Boxes with real Gold and Cash was the best solution but dumb people worried about loosing 0.5% interest taxed at 35% at source if the money was in an account.
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Old 27.08.2011, 18:09
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Re: Foreigners with Swiss Bank Accounts

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I did post on this forum a couple of years ago that Banks are not trustworthy often due to employees leaving and selling information to Tax Offices abroad.
I posted that Safe Deposit Boxes with real Gold and Cash was the best solution but dumb people worried about loosing 0.5% interest taxed at 35% at source if the money was in an account.
I prefer the cash in the matress route, myself. Much higher security.
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Old 27.08.2011, 20:09
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Re: Foreigners with Swiss Bank Accounts

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I prefer the cash in the matress route, myself. Much higher security.
That's best practice down here in Argentina.

Also they pay for their property purchases in cash, sliding thousands in US$ from one side of the table to the other.

Most of the time is spent counting the money on one side of the table then counting it again when it arrives at the other side of the table. Just in case it went through a black hole that exists in some Argentina bank tables.
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Old 30.08.2011, 11:15
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Re: Foreigners with Swiss Bank Accounts

I assume this will effect me:
I am a student who will be looking to open a Swiss bank account during my exchange year in Switzerland.

Does this mean I will have to wave goodbye to 20% of any money I move over to Switzerland - or will I be okay if I just declare it when I fill in my tax return next year?

I would really appreciate your help here, EF! (Or point me in the direction where I can get some advice).

Thanks!!
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Old 30.08.2011, 11:24
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Re: Foreigners with Swiss Bank Accounts

Just discovered it comes into effect in 2013 - so it won't effect me personally (at least for my exchange year), but my initial question may be of interest to others.
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Old 30.08.2011, 11:40
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Re: Foreigners with Swiss Bank Accounts

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I prefer the cash in the matress route, myself. Much higher security.
Trouble is I would have my nose pressed against the ceiling
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Old 30.08.2011, 18:19
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Re: Foreigners with Swiss Bank Accounts

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I did post on this forum a couple of years ago that Banks are not trustworthy often due to employees leaving and selling information to Tax Offices abroad.
Not trustworthy compared to whom (unscrupulous salesmen posing as IFAs?) and where's the evidence that bank employees sell information to tax offices abroad?
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Old 30.08.2011, 18:25
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Re: Foreigners with Swiss Bank Accounts

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I assume this will effect me:
I am a student who will be looking to open a Swiss bank account during my exchange year in Switzerland.

Does this mean I will have to wave goodbye to 20% of any money I move over to Switzerland - or will I be okay if I just declare it when I fill in my tax return next year?

I would really appreciate your help here, EF! (Or point me in the direction where I can get some advice).

Thanks!!
Please, do elaborate. I'm a student who just moved to St. Gallen to complete a Master's degree - 1.5 yrs in duration. Was planning to open a bank account this week. What's the deal?
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Old 30.08.2011, 18:27
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Re: Foreigners with Swiss Bank Accounts

Nevermind, I see that this is pertaining to UK residents; as I am American, I doubt it will affect me.
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Old 30.08.2011, 18:29
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Re: Foreigners with Swiss Bank Accounts

They are are going to tax any capital gains, not the capital itself.

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It looks as if the Swiss are giving in to the anonymity of bank accounts gradually.

The Swiss banks are deducting between 19% to 34% of the capital on bank accounts of UK residents that have bank accounts in Switzerland.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-14649194

Last month Switzerland gave in to Germany and now the UK so it will probably follow for all EC member countries soon.
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Old 30.08.2011, 19:07
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Re: Foreigners with Swiss Bank Accounts

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This negative interest only affects secret accounts. You can open a savings account at the Post Office and get some interest, so don't worry.
That is not true, holders of 'secret accounts' or numbered accounts have had the possibility to allow the banks to exchange information for approx 10 years.

Just holding money in a numbered account may not to defraud tax, but to keep ones wealth secret from children or wives prying eyes.
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Old 30.08.2011, 20:37
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Re: Foreigners with Swiss Bank Accounts

I can answer my own question.

I've since read that full disclosure of your investments in Switzerland (i.e. your bank account(s)) to HMRC will mean that you avoid the 20% - 30% raid on your deposits.
However, when you do disclose the details, I would speak to HMRC over the phone and make sure that you're disclosing it the right way. For example, you may have to request for a HMRC letter to ensure that you avoid the payment.

You probably would still be liable for the withholding tax on interest earned though.


In any case, speak to your accountant or HMRC to ensure you're doing it right.
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Old 30.08.2011, 21:26
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Re: Foreigners with Swiss Bank Accounts

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Just holding money in a numbered account may not to defraud tax, but to keep ones wealth secret from children or wives prying eyes.
Which, ironically, in CH is not allowed! (well, you can hide it until you die, at which point spouse gets half, kids the rest).

Tom
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Old 30.08.2011, 21:29
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Re: Foreigners with Swiss Bank Accounts

Unless you make a will to ensure that 100% goes to your spouse (as we've done- kids will have to wait until we are both done!).
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Old 30.08.2011, 21:36
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Re: Foreigners with Swiss Bank Accounts

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Unless you make a will to ensure that 100% goes to your spouse (as we've done- kids will have to wait until we are both done!).
Can't do that here (unless the kids agree), or you aren't Swiss.

Tom
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Old 30.08.2011, 21:38
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Re: Foreigners with Swiss Bank Accounts

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Which, ironically, in CH is not allowed! (well, you can hide it until you die, at which point spouse gets half, kids the rest).

Tom
The law only applies to people in CH , the account belongs to anyone who has a power of attorney, or the bank after 7 years if you don't contact them in most cases,

Power of Attorney's on such accounts continue after death.........

Even for a CH person, the account is unlikely to be mentioned on a tax return, so how it gets distributed is up to the account holder.
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Old 30.08.2011, 21:43
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Re: Foreigners with Swiss Bank Accounts

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Power of Attorney's on such accounts continue after death.........
Umm, no.

We are in the middle of such a situation, POA ends when the signer dies. Then, it goes to the legal heirs.

Tom
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Old 30.08.2011, 21:51
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Re: Foreigners with Swiss Bank Accounts

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Umm, no.

We are in the middle of such a situation, POA ends when the signer dies. Then, it goes to the legal heirs.

Tom
On numbered accounts the power of attorney can specifically states that to avoid all doubt it will continue after death. That is certainly available to foreign held accounts.

It may or may not be an option for CH passport holders or people living here, however this thread is about Foreigners with Swiss Bank Accounts
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