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Old 25.11.2011, 17:02
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New here, advice appreciated!

Hi there!

Just signed up for this site recently, as Ive been trying to research good ways to invest money with a solid return. As I understand a Swiss Bank Account is a good way to earn money tax-free, and I plan on staying at my country's limit for the max allowed in foreign investments.

So far swissquote emailed me back saying they are not accepting U.S. citizens as customers (and im sure it had something to do with divulging I was investing *only* around 10,000 USD.

Any recommendations about how to go about this and what banks are decent?

Thank you much in advance, and a pleasure to meet you all.
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Old 25.11.2011, 17:09
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Re: New here, advice appreciated!

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Hi there!

Just signed up for this site recently, as Ive been trying to research good ways to invest money with a solid return. As I understand a Swiss Bank Account is a good way to earn money tax-free, and I plan on staying at my country's limit for the max allowed in foreign investments.

So far swissquote emailed me back saying they are not accepting U.S. citizens as customers (and im sure it had something to do with divulging I was investing *only* around 10,000 USD.

Any recommendations about how to go about this and what banks are decent?

Thank you much in advance, and a pleasure to meet you all.
Actually it has to do with the fact that you're a US customer. Talk to your Congress(wo)man and let them know that you're not happy about the limitations the Patriot Act has inadvertently placed on your access to international banking.

As long as you are a USC living and working in the US, you're pretty much SOL on getting in with a Swiss Bank to handle your money. The barely even want to touch us with a 10 foot pole even when we do live here and play with their money.
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Old 25.11.2011, 17:16
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Re: New here, advice appreciated!

Yeah I thought that too.

I know there was a huge goings-on with swiss banks where they were forced to reveal thousands of US account holders...

Maybe thing's will calm down in a few months?
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Old 25.11.2011, 17:52
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Re: New here, advice appreciated!

I heard the same thing... am currently doing an MBA course and it is stated in my book that Swissquote does not accept US citizens ... obviously some regulatory issue, since otherwise I am sure they would appreciate the additional investments .. are you a Swiss resident, though? Perhaps that would change things in their view .. Not sure, though.
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Old 25.11.2011, 18:13
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Re: New here, advice appreciated!

What are your intentions?

If your intentions are to have an account offshore protected by the secrecy of Swiss banking laws than think again. The current climate is not a good place to be for many Americans on these shores, or with assets on these shores.

Now of course, an American can have a bank account here. I work with many Americans, they all have Credit Suisse accounts. But maybe you are aware of the recent letters, similar to what UBS sent to its customers in 2009, that they are transferring all their details to the IRS. Many other banks are under the kosh too, and many people have been indicted.

Non-US mutual funds is what a lot of US citz have invested heavily in over the years, and these have landed a lot of them with huge tax bills and compliance costs.

These non-us mutual funds fall into PFIC rules, and essentially have heavy compliance costs, and punitive tax rates associated.

Will it calm down in few months? NO!

With FATCA coming in, it’s likely to get worse.

Of course, the Swiss banks are going buy their way out of legal issues, then start acting a little more savvy when a man/woman associated with Uncle Sam comes knocking.

I can put you in touch with someone, an invest for US people on these shores, but your start cap needs to be significantly higher than 10k
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Old 25.11.2011, 18:16
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Re: New here, advice appreciated!

Out of interest, what's FATCA ?
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Old 25.11.2011, 18:19
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Re: New here, advice appreciated!

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I heard the same thing... am currently doing an MBA course and it is stated in my book that Swissquote does not accept US citizens ... obviously some regulatory issue, since otherwise I am sure they would appreciate the additional investments .. are you a Swiss resident, though? Perhaps that would change things in their view .. Not sure, though.
No sir...

Born and raised in the United States. However, I am a very well educated and highly compensated young man who owns a house, some cars, no criminal record, and of course, a valid and up-to-date passport. probably makes no difference...?

Are there any swiss banks taking U.S. customers -customers who plan to do business LEGALLY.
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Old 25.11.2011, 18:24
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Re: New here, advice appreciated!

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No sir...

Born and raised in the United States. However, I am a very well educated and highly compensated young man who owns a house, some cars, no criminal record, and of course, a valid and up-to-date passport. probably makes no difference...?

Are there any swiss banks taking U.S. customers -customers who plan to do business LEGALLY.

See the issue is, your a profile name on EF. IRS have been using many a tactic these days.

I will only say that I am pretty sure if you were talking about a worthy investment, then they will be happy to talk to you.
But, you need to be well briefed on how certain issues will effect your US tax liability.
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Old 25.11.2011, 18:27
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Re: New here, advice appreciated!


FATCA – the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.

Effective after Dec 31. 2012

All foreign financial institutions (FFI’s) are required to enter into disclosure agreements with IRS.

All non financial foreign entities must report or certify their ownership or be subject to 30% w/h
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Old 25.11.2011, 18:35
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Re: New here, advice appreciated!

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See the issue is, your a profile name on EF. IRS have been using many a tactic these days.

I will only say that I am pretty sure if you were talking about a worthy investment, then they will be happy to talk to you.
But, you need to be well briefed on how certain issues will effect your US tax liability.

I see what you mean...

I can afford to invest more, much more than 10,000 USD, however, correct me if I'm wrong, the maximum the U.S. allows it's citizens to invest without reporting to the IRS is 10,000 dollars. If they've outlawed that, I cant imagine why many people would want to stay here... there needs to be freedom to do with money what humans want to.

My overall goal here is to earn interest, preferably while not paying taxes on it every single year, and essentially have my money work for me, as I hold a good deal of cash in a bank account that earns only 2.5% over here, and would like more than that.

Also looking at panama bank accounts, but feel more confident in the swiss.
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Old 25.11.2011, 18:51
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Re: New here, advice appreciated!

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I see what you mean...

I can afford to invest more, much more than 10,000 USD, however, correct me if I'm wrong, the maximum the U.S. allows it's citizens to invest without reporting to the IRS is 10,000 dollars. If they've outlawed that, I cant imagine why many people would want to stay here... there needs to be freedom to do with money what humans want to.

My overall goal here is to earn interest, preferably while not paying taxes on it every single year, and essentially have my money work for me, as I hold a good deal of cash in a bank account that earns only 2.5% over here, and would like more than that.

Also looking at panama bank accounts, but feel more confident in the swiss.

I think you are referring to the maximum you can bring in/out of the US without declaring it?

There is no limit on the amount you can invest.

I think you need to arrange a flight over here, have some discussions, and evaluate your options
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Old 25.11.2011, 21:09
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Re: New here, advice appreciated!

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I think you are referring to the maximum you can bring in/out of the US without declaring it?

There is no limit on the amount you can invest.

I think you need to arrange a flight over here, have some discussions, and evaluate your options
Jordan, thank you so much for keeping in touch with me...

The irony is, I travelled to the Ukraine in February and stopped in switzerland on the way home, (lay over) I wish I wouldve stayed another day and taken the time to discuss when I couldve done.

In discussion to the 10,000 dollar amount i was speaking of,

http://money.howstuffworks.com/perso...k-account6.htm

First paragraph. Not sure if how much of this entire article is true, but I did some reading on it.
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Old 27.11.2011, 15:25
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Re: New here, advice appreciated!

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Jordan, thank you so much for keeping in touch with me...

The irony is, I travelled to the Ukraine in February and stopped in switzerland on the way home, (lay over) I wish I wouldve stayed another day and taken the time to discuss when I couldve done.

In discussion to the 10,000 dollar amount i was speaking of,

http://money.howstuffworks.com/perso...k-account6.htm

First paragraph. Not sure if how much of this entire article is true, but I did some reading on it.
Ah, no what this is referring to is Foreign Bank Account Reporting otherwise known as FBAR, and is a form that needs to be filed every year on June 30 if applicable.

It is actually just a reporting obligation whereby if you, as an American citizen, own foreign accounts I.e. Non US, and their aggregate balance exceeds 10k, then you are required to report ALL of your foreign accounts on this form. The form is called 90-22.1

You are not taxed on disclosing these account balances, it is merely a reporting obligation as I say, but there are severe penalties for non disclosure. That said, only up until now, with the recent offshore disclosure initiatives, have the IRS actually started to impose penalties for non filing or non disclosure of foreign assets on this form.

The last paragraph I think is alluding to the fact that if you are investing in US securities from a Swiss or other offshore account, then there will likely be a US custodian, and if SEC registered a Form 1099 produced, which is sent both to you and the IRS and you would be expected to match the income on your Form 1040 Federal tax return. Thus implying investing in non US securities will prevent that automatic notification to the IRS and then it's your decision whether you report them or not. Technically, and legally, as you probably already know, you should report all of your worldwide income on your US tax return.

Now, with the current climate as is, deals and treaties are being set up to ensure Swiss banks disclose their US account holders. UBS and Credit Suisse have already or are in process of handing over thousands of details about their US clients, so the secret Swiss bank a/c is no longer so safe. Other banks are under investigation, and a number of people indicted for assisting in tax evasion. Seemingly, this is only the tip of the iceberg, what happens next, who knows.....
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Old 27.11.2011, 15:43
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Re: New here, advice appreciated!

I have an American colleague (lives and works here) who was refused by all the major banks but was accepted by Migros Bank.

Not sure of the background to the decision, but maybe worth looking there

(Bothering to stay here, fly here in order to save the tax on the interest on an USD 10000 investment feels like overkill though, but maybe its the first tranche of millions )
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Old 27.11.2011, 16:00
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Re: New here, advice appreciated!

CGJ7755,

What is driving you to look at investing in Switzerland? Is there something you think you can get in Switzerland that you cannot in the US? As others have pointed out, this is perhaps not the best place for non-resident Americans to invest.

I'm a US citizen living in Switzerland; have been here for years, hold the equivalent of permanent residency...

...yet I continue to do much of my investing in the US. I keep my current accounts and a small CH/EU portfolio here, but that's it.

You really need to understand the barriers the US government has placed (and has in the pipeline) on 'US persons' who have financial interests abroad. Because of all the extra work (and risk) an American represents to a foreign firm, US customers are not very attractive to those businesses. Unless, of course, you are investing in the gazillionaire range. If you play in that league, the welcome mat will roll out.

Do fully research the implications of FBAR, FATCA, etc.

You also might want to look into investing with a US arm of a Swiss firm... US a rules apply, of course.

But then - for an American, US rules apply no matter where in the world you are.

Good luck.
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Old 27.11.2011, 16:56
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Re: New here, advice appreciated!

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CGJ7755,

What is driving you to look at investing in Switzerland? Is there something you think you can get in Switzerland that you cannot in the US? As others have pointed out, this is perhaps not the best place for non-resident Americans to invest.

I'm a US citizen living in Switzerland; have been here for years, hold the equivalent of permanent residency...

...yet I continue to do much of my investing in the US. I keep my current accounts and a small CH/EU portfolio here, but that's it.

You really need to understand the barriers the US government has placed (and has in the pipeline) on 'US persons' who have financial interests abroad. Because of all the extra work (and risk) an American represents to a foreign firm, US customers are not very attractive to those businesses. Unless, of course, you are investing in the gazillionaire range. If you play in that league, the welcome mat will roll out.

Do fully research the implications of FBAR, FATCA, etc.

You also might want to look into investing with a US arm of a Swiss firm... US a rules apply, of course.

But then - for an American, US rules apply no matter where in the world you are.

Good luck.
If he has so much money, why worry about taxes? He is what he is as they say, a cheat is a cheat, with money or whatever he has... I myself claim any amount for taxes... for his first few posts nice one, asking for help to cheat...
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Old 27.11.2011, 17:10
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If he has so much money, why worry about taxes? He is what he is as they say, a cheat is a cheat, with money or whatever he has... I myself claim any amount for taxes... for his first few posts nice one, asking for help to cheat...
Why is he cheating?
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Old 27.11.2011, 18:29
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As I understand a Swiss Bank Account is a good way to earn money tax-free, and I plan on staying at my country's limit for the max allowed in foreign investments.
I'm not sure where you get the idea that money held in a Swiss bank account is tax-free. The US exemption for foreign income is for earned income (eg, salary) and does not apply to unearned income. You will need to report any income earned in a Swiss bank account on your US taxes and pay the appropriate tax on it.

Aside from the security of the Swiss Franc (which can work for or against you -- you'll be exposed to the currency risk), saving in Switzerland isn't particularly attractive either. For the sort of money you're looking to invest, you will struggle to earn more than about 1.25% on your money. Add in the additional fees to wire the money back-and-forth to the US and you are likely to be better off sticking it under the mattress.

As others have said, there are very few investment options available in Switzerland than aren't available in the US. Moreover, the US financial institutions are much-better geared up to supply you with year-end IRS tax documentation, which is something of a nightmare over here. I hold a number of shares with a UK broker and end-of-year is always a nightmare as US tax year runs Jan-Dec and UK tax year runs Apr-Apr. There's always a massive reconciliation effort to get the documents in order and the sums right.

If you're talking about stocks and shares, again there is no particular advantage of investing via a Swiss institution, and plenty of drawbacks. The biggest is dealing fees, which are significantly higher than US online brokerages. Many people on here use foreign brokerages for just that reason, interactivebrokers.com being the one that's often recommended.

For $100 of interest a year, it hardly seems worth the hassle, frankly.
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Old 28.11.2011, 09:47
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No sir...

Are there any swiss banks taking U.S. customers -customers who plan to do business LEGALLY.
If you have a net worth of at least a few million and willing to invest a minium of a million, I am quite sure there are a few private banks that will accomodate you.
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Old 30.11.2011, 00:36
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If he has so much money, why worry about taxes? He is what he is as they say, a cheat is a cheat, with money or whatever he has... I myself claim any amount for taxes... for his first few posts nice one, asking for help to cheat...

Thanks. Love you too...

No, seriously, i have to say I really didnt quite understand the benefits of Swiss Bank accounts initially.

Im not making any extravagant claims, and I'm not trying to cheat the tax system. I pay my taxes on time every single year, although I do look to take advantage of any tax write offs and credits.

Im not a millionaire by any stretch... just trying to find a way to earn a good return on my money have sitting in a checking account, that gets 2.5% interest right now. I figured if there was a swiss money market that paid 5%+ fixed It would be worth it to put 10 or 20 thousand USD in it, since I'm earning half as much over here.

As the last week of research has shown me, I'm not thinking this is possible, and it is a waste of my time, but a good learning experience.

Im going back into picking a few stocks, mutual funds, and series I savings bonds.
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