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Old 15.07.2012, 06:58
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Opening a Swiss bank account as a non resident

I found this forum last week and so I spent the last days reading about the Swiss finance system, I am a brazilian and I live in Sao Paulo.

My intention is to open an account to "protect" my money and to avoid paying some taxes, everything due the legal rules, of course.

About the Swiss banks, Is it possible to just open a normal account as non resident? My plan is to make a initial deposit of €100.000 and after it something like €50.000 every year, so which banks should I go?

My preference is to try first with the most known names, like UBS or Credit Suisse, anyone has experience with this banks as a non residence here?
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Old 15.07.2012, 10:35
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Re: Opening a Swiss bank account as a non resident

Try €250k and not sure you'll "protect your money" if you keep it in Euros.

Also Swiss banks not at all keen on this for reasons you mentioned yourself, it is costing them too much already in the US & Europe. To put it bluntly, you really are not very interesting for them unless youz have millions and even then they will protect themselves abvout tax evasion by yourself and inform local authorites.
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Old 15.07.2012, 10:36
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Re: Opening a Swiss bank account as a non resident

That balance will be ok, expect charges rather than interest, they are providing a valuable service that will not be cheap.
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Old 15.07.2012, 15:57
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Re: Opening a Swiss bank account as a non resident

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I found this forum last week and so I spent the last days reading about the Swiss finance system, I am a brazilian and I live in Sao Paulo.

My intention is to open an account to "protect" my money and to avoid paying some taxes, everything due the legal rules, of course.

About the Swiss banks, Is it possible to just open a normal account as non resident? My plan is to make a initial deposit of €100.000 and after it something like €50.000 every year, so which banks should I go?

My preference is to try first with the most known names, like UBS or Credit Suisse, anyone has experience with this banks as a non residence here?
Don't be surprised however if in the near future a Brazilian version of FATCA pops up; you will then be facing big issues with your swiss bank account if you are seeking to evade taxes. Brazil has a much higher tax rate than the US, has enormous tax evasion issues, highly corrupt politicians and officials and it is becoming a global economic powerhouse in many industries.

And, to top it off, it is a market the Swiss government and major Swiss companies cannot afford to burn bridges with (just like the Swiss can't afford to burn bridges with the US).
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Old 15.07.2012, 17:08
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Re: Opening a Swiss bank account as a non resident

Thank you guys for the answers, as I said I don't want to evade taxes either laundry money.

When you said that here in Brazil we have such high taxes you saying the truth but there is options, all legally, to pay less taxes.

I can work on it and try to make a initial deposit of CHF 300.000, actually my intention is to set a CHF account, about the banks, with this amount I still have to pay maintenance taxes? With this amount I can set a Private Banking account?

Specifically about Credit Suisse and UBS, anyone knows the minimum deposits and fees? And about the documents, I just need my passport?

Sorry for my terrible english and for doing so many questions, I really appreciate your help!
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Old 15.07.2012, 19:14
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Re: Opening a Swiss bank account as a non resident

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My intention is to open an account to "protect" my money and to avoid paying some taxes, everything due the legal rules, of course.
As you so say, your English must be really bad if you don't know what you write....
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Old 15.07.2012, 19:17
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Re: Opening a Swiss bank account as a non resident

You don't want to evade taxes but you want to avoid paying taxes?

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Old 15.07.2012, 19:27
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Re: Opening a Swiss bank account as a non resident

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As you so say, your English must be really bad if you don't know what you write....
Sorry?

There is legal manners to avoid paying taxes, I really can't see where is the problem.

I will set a swiss account and so the money there will be not on brazilian jurisdiction, avoiding future taxes, of course that I need to make the custom declaration and pay the taxes here before sending it out.

Think about the Stamp Duty in UK real estate before the New Budget, you could legally set an offshore company and them buy an apartment or house using it.In the first time you would need to pay your SD, but when you attempt to sell it the next buyer doesn't need to pay the SD again, as you can just sell the shares of the company that owns the property.

In that case, you avoid paying taxes and, of course, don't transgress any regulations.
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Old 15.07.2012, 19:32
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Re: Opening a Swiss bank account as a non resident

Are you a British Comedian in disguise
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Old 15.07.2012, 19:40
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Re: Opening a Swiss bank account as a non resident

Well, I tried to give some example, so maybe you could understand it, next time I will make a draw and so things might be easy!

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Old 15.07.2012, 19:41
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Re: Opening a Swiss bank account as a non resident

I have a bank account in Switzerland, you can transfer all your money to me, nobody will know in Brasil and there will be no tax to pay!
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Old 15.07.2012, 19:50
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Re: Opening a Swiss bank account as a non resident

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I have a bank account in Switzerland, you can transfer all your money to me, nobody will know in Brasil and there will be no tax to pay!
Ok, please PM the details!

Ok,and what about CS and UBS, is there many issues with non residents? CHF300.000 is good initial deposit?
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Old 15.07.2012, 19:56
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Re: Opening a Swiss bank account as a non resident

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Thank you guys for the answers, as I said I don't want to evade taxes either laundry money.

When you said that here in Brazil we have such high taxes you saying the truth but there is options, all legally, to pay less taxes.

I can work on it and try to make a initial deposit of CHF 300.000, actually my intention is to set a CHF account, about the banks, with this amount I still have to pay maintenance taxes?
yes. You use a service, you have to pay for it.

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With this amount I can set a Private Banking account?
yes

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Specifically about Credit Suisse and UBS, anyone knows the minimum deposits and fees? And about the documents, I just need my passport?
you can open with less than 250k but the fees will kill you. You need passport, proof of domicile, proof of money origin, proof of fiscal compliance.
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Old 15.07.2012, 20:01
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Re: Opening a Swiss bank account as a non resident

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You don't want to evade taxes but you want to avoid paying taxes?

Tax evasion is illegal.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_evasion

Tax avoidance is legal.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_avoidance

The two terms are often used interchangeably because they are homophones (two words that sound the same, but have different meanings)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homophones
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Old 16.07.2012, 02:00
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Re: Opening a Swiss bank account as a non resident

I found in the Credit Suisse website for the opening of a private banking account requires a minimum deposit of CHF 1.000.000, is there any way to open it with CHF 500.000 or something like this?
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Old 16.07.2012, 03:36
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Re: Opening a Swiss bank account as a non resident

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I found in the Credit Suisse website for the opening of a private banking account requires a minimum deposit of CHF 1.000.000, is there any way to open it with CHF 500.000 or something like this?
Why don't you call and ask them (or fly over to Zurich and meet with them in person if you have that much cash in hand, SWISS offers direct flights from Sao Paulo to Zurich... fly First Class ).

In any event, if I had the money you are talking about, I probably wouldn't be spewing information about wanting to avoid taxes over the internet, and I certainly would not be asking advice about how to manange it on EF.

I don't think that many people on EF have that type of cash handy (judging by the responses seen from the "Is 120K CHF enough to live in CH" threads that always pop up).

Also, I hope you are aware of the potential challenges of moving large sums of money out of Brazil (and also back in later on), along with the loads of documentation needed and potential costs and taxes involved especially if you are planning on moving it out "the clean and official way" which is via the Brazilian Central Bank.

If I had that amount of cash and if I wanted safe-haven exposure, I probably wouldn't even move it to Switzerland; I would move it to either FXF (US-based Swiss Franc ETF), EWL (US-based Swiss Market ETF) or probably a Swiss Bond ETF in the US financial system. That way, no need to deal with FATCA/FBAR (as it is US-based) and no need to deal with Swiss Wealth Taxes. US financial institutions have much more competitive rates than Swiss banks.

Last edited by brusch; 16.07.2012 at 03:59.
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Old 16.07.2012, 05:11
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Re: Opening a Swiss bank account as a non resident

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Why don't you call and ask them (or fly over to Zurich and meet with them in person if you have that much cash in hand, SWISS offers direct flights from Sao Paulo to Zurich... fly First Class ).

In any event, if I had the money you are talking about, I probably wouldn't be spewing information about wanting to avoid taxes over the internet, and I certainly would not be asking advice about how to manange it on EF.

I don't think that many people on EF have that type of cash handy (judging by the responses seen from the "Is 120K CHF enough to live in CH" threads that always pop up).

Also, I hope you are aware of the potential challenges of moving large sums of money out of Brazil (and also back in later on), along with the loads of documentation needed and potential costs and taxes involved especially if you are planning on moving it out "the clean and official way" which is via the Brazilian Central Bank.

If I had that amount of cash and if I wanted safe-haven exposure, I probably wouldn't even move it to Switzerland; I would move it to either FXF (US-based Swiss Franc ETF), EWL (US-based Swiss Market ETF) or probably a Swiss Bond ETF in the US financial system. That way, no need to deal with FATCA/FBAR (as it is US-based) and no need to deal with Swiss Wealth Taxes. US financial institutions have much more competitive rates than Swiss banks.
Brusch, I already sent an electronic form to CS and UBS asking about the opening account for non residents, my intention here is to hear experiences from who already has a non resident account.

As I Said, I don't have CHF 500.000 freely now to just trow into a Swiss Bank Account, my initial intention was to start with € 100.000 and after it made a € 50.000 deposit per year.

Of course that I already own other assets, anyway, for the foreigns the Brazil fiscal legislation might look really challenging, but in the reality there is no more requirements comparing with the majority of other countries, after paying your income taxes, you just need to made a declaration telling de Central Bank the amount of the money that you are sending, if this amount is compatible with your heritage, no problem and no tricks, in two days your money can be sent out.

In the end, I really appreciate the answer of you guys!
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Old 16.07.2012, 10:12
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Re: Opening a Swiss bank account as a non resident

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and no need to deal with Swiss Wealth Taxes. US financial institutions have much more competitive rates than Swiss banks.
Why, does Switzerland in your experience tax non residents' wealth?
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Old 16.07.2012, 10:19
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Re: Opening a Swiss bank account as a non resident

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I have a bank account in Switzerland, you can transfer all your money to me, nobody will know in Brasil and there will be no tax to pay!
Two points to consider in your cunning plan, as Swiss bank accounts are declared on tax forms:

1) Wealth tax. Depending on your existing total wealth, you may well find you are paying (albeit small) wealth tax on this deposit.

2) More important, the tax authorities would doubtless be interested to know where your sudden increase in wealth came from and attempt to add it to you income - and tax it accordingly...
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Old 16.07.2012, 16:40
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Re: Opening a Swiss bank account as a non resident

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Two points to consider in your cunning plan, as Swiss bank accounts are declared on tax forms:

1) Wealth tax. Depending on your existing total wealth, you may well find you are paying (albeit small) wealth tax on this deposit.

2) More important, the tax authorities would doubtless be interested to know where your sudden increase in wealth came from and attempt to add it to you income - and tax it accordingly...
Or just open another account & not declaire it.
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