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Old 10.03.2012, 12:33
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pay taxes for property outside Switzerland?

Hi, I am EU citizen, living in Switzerland as self employed (selbständig). I have L-permit (I have been here only since July 2011, this is my first tax return).
Question is, do I pay taxes in Switzerland for property, shares, and bank accounts I own in my home country? (I pay for them in my home country, but I was told, that for property I pay in Switzerland as well. Is that true? I pay for it twice?)

Thanx.
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Old 10.03.2012, 13:06
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Re: pay taxes for property outside Switzerland?

If you are resident here, you pay taxes here. Would be much better to ask colleagues or friends to advise you a Fiduciaire to help you with this for your first tax return. We pay tax on our property in the UK on its valuation value.
Same with bank accounts, shares- they are all part of your 'fortune' and you have to pay tax on this here (and no longer there- so you won't pay twice- as CH as a treaty with other EU countries to avoid double-taxation. But it can take a while to sort out, so for our first year we did pay twice, but then were reimbursed on overpay in UK).

From the BCV website (Banque Cantonale Vaudoise):

Swiss wealth tax is levied at the cantonal and local levels on your personal assets. This includes any financial investments – including bank accounts and securities held outside Switzerland – and property that you own (in CH or elsewhere). It is calculated according to the assets you hold on 31 December of each year or on the date that you leave Switzerland permanently. Wealth tax rates are progressive and can reach up to 0.8%.

Last edited by Odile; 10.03.2012 at 16:12.
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Old 10.03.2012, 14:32
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Re: pay taxes for property outside Switzerland?

Yes we do have a tax to pay on your global assets. Its in the form of a wealth tax where you are required to declare the value of the assets like properties and income on them.

The wealth tax is minimal and is converted to a taxable amount around 70% of what you declare and then you pay a small percent.

The income and expenses are also declared but only to determine your rate of swiss tax on your full income. So yes its sort of double but the amount is pretty small and its best to declare it since the conhsequences of not doing so are more then what you will pay if you comply
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Old 10.03.2012, 16:01
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Re: pay taxes for property outside Switzerland?

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. So yes its sort of double but the amount is pretty small and its best to declare it since the conhsequences of not doing so are more then what you will pay if you comply
Any llinks? I know a number of people who don't take filling their tax return seriousely, so I assumed it's not a very serious matter unlike in the UK/US.
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Old 10.03.2012, 17:39
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Re: pay taxes for property outside Switzerland?

Another newbie with another random question about tax.
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Old 10.03.2012, 17:44
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Another newbie with another random question about tax.
Is there a rule against that?
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Old 10.03.2012, 17:59
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Re: pay taxes for property outside Switzerland?

No, but there have been a rash of newbie posts about tax recently, together with newbie posts about gold, all coincidentally by newbies who prefer to post in the finance section rather than use the search function. Could be a ploy by certain entities to shift certain threads down the page, but that's just a hunch. It's up to the mods to keep an eye on things.
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Old 10.03.2012, 19:44
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Re: pay taxes for property outside Switzerland?

I have been in Switzerland a few years. When I first had to complete a tax return I was on Quellensteuer. I rang the tax office and asked about UK income and they were not interested at the time. A few years on and now on a C permit I have not changed reporting.

I am now nervous that I should have done but if I report now the will question why I have not reported it in the past. Any recommendations? Should I go to the tax office and highlight situation directly.

Thanks.
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Old 10.03.2012, 19:53
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Re: pay taxes for property outside Switzerland?

Sorry I was referring to declaring UK property and savings income which is already declared on UK tax returns.

Thanks
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Old 10.03.2012, 20:05
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Re: pay taxes for property outside Switzerland?

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Sorry I was referring to declaring UK property and savings income which is already declared on UK tax returns.

Thanks
If you live in CH your liable to tax in CH on your world wide income & there is also a world wide wealth tax that does not exist in the uk.

You will receive credit for any UK tax paid against income.

Depending if the revenue except you have really 'left' the UK permantly for settled purpose you may have a liability on world wide income & gains in the UK as well.
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Old 10.03.2012, 20:52
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Re: pay taxes for property outside Switzerland?

Thanks for all answers.
Quote:
If you are resident here, you pay taxes here.
And who is "resident"? Anybody who lives here 31.12.2011 with any type of permit (L, B, C)?

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Another newbie with another random question about tax.
Sorry, I tried to search, but my situation is quite specific, as I am selbständig, on permit L, and not Quellensteuer.

So, if I will pay taxes for everything I own in my home country, which form to use? I received from Steuerverwaltung forms: "Steuererklärung", "Wertschriften- und Guthabenverzeichnis" (for bank accounts, shares.. I suppose), "Berufsauslagen" (which I don't fill in as self-employed?). But which form to fill in for real-estate?
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Old 10.03.2012, 21:11
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Re: pay taxes for property outside Switzerland?

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Thanks for all answers.
And who is "resident"? Anybody who lives here 31.12.2011 with any type of permit (L, B, C)?


Sorry, I tried to search, but my situation is quite specific, as I am selbständig, on permit L, and not Quellensteuer.

So, if I will pay taxes for everything I own in my home country, which form to use? I received from Steuerverwaltung forms: "Steuererklärung", "Wertschriften- und Guthabenverzeichnis" (for bank accounts, shares.. I suppose), "Berufsauslagen" (which I don't fill in as self-employed?). But which form to fill in for real-estate?
If your here for more than 6 months, your resident here.
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Old 10.03.2012, 21:39
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Re: pay taxes for property outside Switzerland?

There is no specific form for property- it is just part of your overall 'wealth' - you really need to see a tax specialist to get this sorted properly for the first time at least.
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Old 11.03.2012, 17:52
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Re: pay taxes for property outside Switzerland?

I have been doing some more searching on the internet today as I try to complete my tax return and came across interesting information on http://www.taxesforexpats.com/switze...itzerland.html. I realise that most are opinions and not neccessarily fact but some of the statements on the US site contradict statments made in this thread.

10 Myths about Swiss Taxes

1) Offshore investments are not subject to taxation in Switzerland.
�Offshore� literally refers to anything outside the shores of a country, or in the case of land-locked Switzerland outside its borders. In financial language �offshore� usually is used for jurisdictions such as the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, Bermuda, Luxembourg, etc. � all these being countries where investment companies themselves benefit from a very low taxation. Switzerland, on the other hand, bases its entitlement to tax a person on the fact that this person is resident in Switzerland. Where the person�s investments are held does not make any difference. Investments outside Switzerland are therefore taxed in exactly the same way as if they were held with a Swiss financial services company, and are therefore subject to income and wealth tax in the same way.

3) Properties abroad do not need to be declared in the Swiss tax return.
Most Double Taxation Agreements Switzerland has with other countries actually give the right to tax income from a property to the country where the property is located. Switzerland, however, always has the right to take any income as well as the value of the property into account when the Swiss income and wealth tax rates are assessed. It is therefore mandatory to declare the property abroad in the Swiss tax return, whether it is rented out or not

With the online return, even though income is listed as foreign, it is still added to net income and taken in to account when calculating overall tax. Based on opinions in this forum, I was expecting this only to taken into account when calculating tax rate. I may just have to give the tax office a call.
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Old 11.03.2012, 18:59
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Re: pay taxes for property outside Switzerland?

Definitely worth checking out with a tax advisor, as different cantons have different rules, but from my understanding the situation is as follows:

* all income should be declared, as should your global wealth. These are taxed separately. Tax on fortune is really small (unless you are really, really wealthy - and they you should definitely be seeking professional advice )
* Your income from movable assets (salary, dividends, etc) will all be put together to be taxed, irrespective of where it has come from (i.e. irrespective of which country it has been earned in) - however, you can also deduct tax paid, loan interest etc, etc.
* Your income from immovable assets (property) is not taxed per se, but is taken into account when working out your tax rate. The tax rate you pay on your overall income goes up depending on how much you earn, so if you earn for example 50,000 CHF per annum you could be on 10% tax on that whole 50,000 CHF (these are made up figures by the way just to provide an example!). If you earned 75,000 CHF, your tax rate on the whole amount (not just the 25,000 over 50,000) could go up to say 20% (again - fictitious rates, but do note that the tax rate is not linear - it seems to go up exponentially after a while!). Again, you can discount things like mortgage interest, agent fees, repairs, etc.

So, if in my fictitious example you earned 50,000 in a mixture of wages and dividends at a tax rate of 10%, but then earned an extra 25,000 from property overseas, you would end up paying 20% tax on your 50,000 CHF instead of 10% - so it is really a stealth tax even though you would not be officially "taxed" on your 25,000 CHF of property income.

With regard to past tax returns, I had no idea about this when I got to Switzerland (was being taxed at source) and only found out after two years that if your assets are over a certain amount (not that high if you own property) you should actually do a normal tax return - at least in Geneva, so we got an accountant to help us do backdated tax returns for 2008 and 2009. The GVA tax authorities were all ok with it - I think they are generally fine if a genuine mistake that someone is trying to rectify.
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