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Old 23.06.2012, 17:46
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U.S. Strikes FATCA Deals with Switzerland

On Thursday a deal was struck between the US and Swiss for sharing financial information.
JOINT STATEMENT FROM THE UNITED STATES AND SWITZERLAND REGARDING A FRAMEWORK FOR COOPERATION TO FACILITATE THE IMPLEMENTATION OF FATCA


*Enable these Swiss financial institutions to comply with the obligations prescribed by the FATCA rules and set forth in such FFI Agreements, in particular regarding the reporting of information with respect to U.S. accounts to the IRS, by granting an exception from Article 271 of the Swiss Criminal Code.

* In addition, as a result of the Cooperation Agreement, Swiss financial institutions would not be required to:
1. Terminate the account of a recalcitrant account holder;

Hopefully this deal will provide relief to the US citizens living in Switzerland.
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Old 23.06.2012, 18:26
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Re: U.S. Strikes FATCA Deals with Switzerland

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On Thursday a deal was struck between the US and Swiss for sharing financial information.

...

Hopefully this deal will provide relief to the US citizens living in Switzerland.
How, exactly, do you see it doing that? The financial burden on Swiss institutions remains unchanged; essentially, this agreement just says Switzerland bent over and let the US have its way.
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Old 23.06.2012, 19:34
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Re: U.S. Strikes FATCA Deals with Switzerland

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The financial burden on Swiss institutions remains unchanged;
Swiss institutions had a financial and legal burden.

This 'financial burden' can be passed along to US customers in the form of higher administrative fees, etc.

The legal burden of complying with US demands was the major obstacle facing Swiss institutions. Now that Switzerland has bent over and let the US have its way, it's no longer illegal for banks to turn over customer info to US authorities.

While it may cost US citizens more CHFs and piss off the Swiss people for bending over to US demands, at least Americans will now be able to maintain an account in Switzerland. I see this as a relief from the current situation where Americans are flat out being "identified, quarantined and avoided."
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Old 26.06.2012, 23:35
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Americans not wanted!

Hello,

Have other people had the problem of Swiss banks demanding to know whether you are american and, if yes, telling you that must let them declare your account to the IRS or you must close it. I was also told that americans could not open any new accounts in switzerland! I am a dual citizen and have lived and worked here for 32 years, my kids live here and I wont be moving back to the US.... but I need a bank account in Switzerland to get my salary! And to pay my bills...

What are other dual citizens doing?

Help!!
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Old 26.06.2012, 23:38
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Re: Americans not wanted!

There is already a thread on this on the EF. Probably answers all of your questions.
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Old 26.06.2012, 23:40
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Re: U.S. Strikes FATCA Deals with Switzerland

Threads merged to keep all these US banking issues in one place.
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Old 26.06.2012, 23:40
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Re: U.S. Strikes FATCA Deals with Switzerland



Nice title...
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Old 28.06.2012, 18:26
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Re: U.S. Strikes FATCA Deals with Switzerland

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Swiss institutions had a financial and legal burden.

This 'financial burden' can be passed along to US customers in the form of higher administrative fees, etc.

"
We just got a statement from Migros Bank today. In order for us to remain Migros customers, they needed to buy 1 share of GE stock (to link us back to the U.S.) in our name. The cost of this 1 share was 19.55 chf + 100 chf Courtage (brokerage fees). I'm not sure yet if these brokerage fees in Switzerland come on an annual basis, or only when buying/selling. I read somewhere that the compliance will cost foreign banks in excess of 10 million. Not sure what other costs they will be passing on to us. And, I'm wondering if this fee can be used as a credit on our U.S. tax returns--would seem only fair.
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Old 04.07.2012, 09:58
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Re: U.S. Strikes FATCA Deals with Switzerland

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We just got a statement from Migros Bank today. In order for us to remain Migros customers, they needed to buy 1 share of GE stock (to link us back to the U.S.) in our name. The cost of this 1 share was 19.55 chf + 100 chf Courtage (brokerage fees). I'm not sure yet if these brokerage fees in Switzerland come on an annual basis, or only when buying/selling. I read somewhere that the compliance will cost foreign banks in excess of 10 million. Not sure what other costs they will be passing on to us. And, I'm wondering if this fee can be used as a credit on our U.S. tax returns--would seem only fair.
1) FATCA compliance is indeed expected to cost up to US$10 million per FFI (essentially bank). This is why US Citizens are being showing the door by many banks in CH.

2) As I understand it, you will also need to pay an annual Depotkonto maintenance fee of CHF 30. Please see fee schedule item (Mindestdepotgebühr) at this link:
http://www.migrosbank.ch/mgbk/PDFTem...H&segment=CORP

3) WGBH Boston/ NPR broadcast a four-minute program yesterday (3 July) called: "What FACTA Did to American Bank Customers in Switzerland". Might be worth reading/ listening to:
http://www.theworld.org/2012/07/fact...s-switzerland/
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Old 15.07.2012, 19:21
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Re: U.S. Strikes FATCA Deals with Switzerland

It's a pity Switzerland doesn't have the balls to stand up and tell the US to shove it.

Brazil certainly does, below an excerpt from a letter from the Brazilian Banking Federation to the US Treasury Department and the IRS:

"... F.A.T.C.A. clashes with certain aspects of the Brazilian Federal Constitution, especially concerning the fundamental rights of non-prejudice and equality of a US person as compared to any other person, the right to privacy and secrecy of financial data, and the prohibition to use unlawful pressure to do otherwise. F.A.T.C.A. also goes against the Brazilian tax system, since income tax can only be collected according to Brazilian law and to the benefit of the Brazilian Federal Union. Financial market regulations do not allow financial institutions that operate in Brazil to charge the US withholding costs to their customers contractually. The acts of Brazilian financial institutions to pursue F.A.T.C.A. enforcement may thus be considered as illegal and unconstitutional, putting those institutions in a position of having to face unfair US tax costs, civil and regulatory legal suits in Brazil... "

http://www.deloitte.com/assets/Dcom-...IRS_010112.PDF

In essence, a diplomatic way of saying "piss off".
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Old 15.07.2012, 19:44
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Re: U.S. Strikes FATCA Deals with Switzerland

And if the US decides to financially penalize Brazilian banks in the US for FATCA non-compliance, Brazil has a reciprocity law that requires the Brazilian government to treat foreigners the same way those foreign governments treat Brazilian.

So, which Fortune 500 company(ies) will be screaming their lungs off in congress after having their Brazilians-based Assets/Cash seized by the Brazilian government following through this reciprocity law?

It will be a very interesting battle to see unfolding, as Brazil is a major market for Fortune 500 companies (for many of them the number one foreign market) and these companies have major fixed assets and operations in Brazil due to the way the tax and customs system forces foreign companies to plant themselves in Brazil.

There's a good reason why Americans need a visa to enter Brazil and must pay a 160 USD reciprocity fee (same fee Brazilians are charged) and why Australians have to pay 35 USD. Also EU-EFTA, Russian, Ukrainian, Turkish, Moroccan, Thai, Filipino, Malaysian, Nambian, Lebanese, Tunisian and Albanian citizens can enter Brazil visa-free with no charge. Americans were also being photographed and fingerprinted upon arrival (a new special line setup) when Brazilians had to go through the same in the US.

A neutral country should have balls to stand up for its interests instead of allowing its

1) citizens residing in the US
2) dual CH-US citizens

or

3) US citizens residing in Switzerland and contributing to Swiss society and economy

get shafted big time by the IRS and domestic banks. You show a superpower a sign of weakness and you get shafted, and this will only get worse and worse!
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Old 17.07.2012, 14:30
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Re: U.S. Strikes FATCA Deals with Switzerland

Has anyone here had any luck in the last couple months opening a bank account here? I am living in Switzerland, but still getting paid by my US company. It sucks paying unecessary foreign transaction fees every time I need cash, but I've been turned away by UBS and Credit Suisse so far and basically got laughed out of the Kantonalbank I tried.
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Old 17.07.2012, 14:59
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Re: U.S. Strikes FATCA Deals with Switzerland

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Has anyone here had any luck in the last couple months opening a bank account here? I am living in Switzerland, but still getting paid by my US company. It sucks paying unecessary foreign transaction fees every time I need cash, but I've been turned away by UBS and Credit Suisse so far and basically got laughed out of the Kantonalbank I tried.
If you can demonstrate that you live in Switzerland, the Postfinance is required by law to take you, no matter what your nationality is. According to press releases, if you are a US Person, it is likely that they will only allow you to have a non-interest bearing current account (Privatkonto or Lohnkonto) with them.

Note: An article in Blick in March 2012 stated that Postfinance will be able to exclude customers that pose legal or reputational risks to it starting 2013 when its charter is changed. This means that you might be tossed out in 2013. US citizenship has become toxic abroad and, due to the US focus on Switzerland, it is very difficult to obtain basic banking services here.

You might wish to write your US senator and Congressperson. Also, you might wish to send a letter to the US Ambassador in Bern, Donald Beyer, who has shown no interest in this issue to-date.
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Old 17.07.2012, 15:16
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Re: U.S. Strikes FATCA Deals with Switzerland

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Has anyone here had any luck in the last couple months opening a bank account here? I am living in Switzerland, but still getting paid by my US company. It sucks paying unecessary foreign transaction fees every time I need cash, but I've been turned away by UBS and Credit Suisse so far and basically got laughed out of the Kantonalbank I tried.

Just opened my PostFinance account 2 weeks ago. All they required was proof of residency here in Switzerland, and for me to sign a form stating that I take full responsibility for any taxes due to the IRS.

The only problems I've had are actually getting Migros bank to close my account there.
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Old 17.07.2012, 15:22
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Re: U.S. Strikes FATCA Deals with Switzerland

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Has anyone here had any luck in the last couple months opening a bank account here? I am living in Switzerland, but still getting paid by my US company. It sucks paying unecessary foreign transaction fees every time I need cash, but I've been turned away by UBS and Credit Suisse so far and basically got laughed out of the Kantonalbank I tried.
I have had checking, stock trading and investment accounts with two different Cantonal Banks for many years, US cizitenship has posed no problems until now.

In any event, I'm planning on being here long-term, and if my banking services get cut, I'll be buying a big strong safe to put in my apartment and I'll be putting all my CHF, Gold and all relevant fiscal receipts in there (and there will be no need to report it in FATCA or FBAR since my house safe ain't a FFI ). I'll be paying all my monthly bills at the La Poste which is 100 meters from me .

If things become unbearable I will renounce the blue book; I have a non-EU (BRICS) Passport to rely on already and I'll wait until my CH passport comes in.
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Old 17.07.2012, 15:38
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Re: U.S. Strikes FATCA Deals with Switzerland

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You might wish to write your US senator and Congressperson. Also, you might wish to send a letter to the US Ambassador in Bern, Donald Beyer, who has shown no interest in this issue to-date.
I'm not convinced that would work.

US Congressmen are basically brokers who profiteer from insider trading and are insensitive to any collateral damage their legislation or policies causes to their non-constituents (be them US citizens or not).

The US Ambassador is simply an extension as they are all confirmed by the Senate.

US politics can be quite unique in the world in that Americans tend to try everything that is wrong first until they find the right policy. Take this logic into the US tax code and I'm afraid I don't have the patience to wait until US Tax Law gets "corrected".
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Old 17.07.2012, 15:38
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Re: U.S. Strikes FATCA Deals with Switzerland

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Just opened my PostFinance account 2 weeks ago. All they required was proof of residency here in Switzerland, and for me to sign a form stating that I take full responsibility for any taxes due to the IRS.
Here's the Blick article from 19 March 2012 which states that the Postfinance can exclude prospective customers, which might pose legal and reputational risk to it, starting in 2013 with its legal entity change to an AG. Ordinary US Persons, living and working in Switzerland, may face more banking challenges in 2013.

http://www.amcham.ch/media/downloads..._im_clinch.PDF

There is a Canadian website at www.IsaacBrockSociety.ca that is a self-help center for US Persons dealing with FATCA in Canada and elsewhere. Canada has more than one million US Persons living there.

The American Citizens Abroad organization is also doing a fine job of raising awareness of FATCA issues and can be found at www.aca.ch
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Old 17.07.2012, 15:59
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Re: U.S. Strikes FATCA Deals with Switzerland

I feel like I am perhaps just lucky after reading some of these posts. I opened a new account with Credit Suisse about 6 months ago and closed one with UBS. I had absolutely zero issues.

There were only two special requirements for an American citizen. I had to sign a form claiming it was my responsibility to report my accounts in the US. The other was a form I received during tax season to fill out claiming that I or the person preparing my taxes filled out the FBAR form and submitted it which will have to be done every year.
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Old 17.07.2012, 16:07
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Re: U.S. Strikes FATCA Deals with Switzerland

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I feel like I am perhaps just lucky after reading some of these posts. I opened a new account with Credit Suisse about 6 months ago and closed one with UBS. I had absolutely zero issues.

There were only two special requirements for an American citizen. I had to sign a form claiming it was my responsibility to report my accounts in the US. The other was a form I received during tax season to fill out claiming that I or the person preparing my taxes filled out the FBAR form and submitted it which will have to be done every year.
Really? They didn't require signed permission to release your account details to the US themselves? I was under the impression that they did, but can't remember for sure.
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Old 17.07.2012, 16:46
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Re: U.S. Strikes FATCA Deals with Switzerland

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Really? They didn't require signed permission to release your account details to the US themselves? I was under the impression that they did, but can't remember for sure.
This could have been a matter of timing that this requirement came about after I had opened this account. I have not received anything from them other than the afore mentioned form about filling out the FBAR since opening this account.
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