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  #21  
Old 29.11.2012, 16:51
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Re: can a minor child legally 'own' a bank account?

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I am quite surprised your allowed to see how much money is in the account, I thought Swiss Banking Secrecy would have prevented that.
I had to prove that I had legal authority over both my kids. I am their legal representant.

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We were told exactly the same thing by both the bank and the tax authorities.

If we want to see the account balance we have to go to the bank and provide them with our id card and they will make a printout for us. our son receives an annual statement from the bank.
I'm at BCV, and I can see the statement online through my e-banking. But I can't do anything else, except adding money on those accounts.
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Old 29.11.2012, 18:46
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Re: can a minor child legally 'own' a bank account?

My understanding from opening an account for our child is that you should be able to access the account to pay for items for your child. If he/she wants to go on a ski trip with friends, you would be able to take out the funds by going to the bank and explaining why, etc. It isn't just locked away, but by having to show that it is being used for your child it keeps parents from dumping money in to gain the higher interest rate.
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  #23  
Old 29.11.2012, 20:15
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Re: can a minor child legally 'own' a bank account?

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My understanding from opening an account for our child is that you should be able to access the account to pay for items for your child. If he/she wants to go on a ski trip with friends, you would be able to take out the funds by going to the bank and explaining why, etc. It isn't just locked away, but by having to show that it is being used for your child it keeps parents from dumping money in to gain the higher interest rate.
When we signed the papers to open the account, it stipulated that only a judge (juge de paix, in French) could allow the parents to take out money from their child's account, and only for specific and serious reasons (left unspecified).
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  #24  
Old 29.11.2012, 21:18
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Re: can a minor child legally 'own' a bank account?

Both boys of mine have Swiss bank accounts with decent amounts for their age on them and our tax advisor every year says they are not needed to be declared (until they hit $10k USD, then I need to report them to the US authorities).
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  #25  
Old 29.11.2012, 22:06
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Re: can a minor child legally 'own' a bank account?

Thanks everyone for all the information ... perhaps not surprisingly, I am even more confused now!

My question related specifically to Post Finance accounts we opened for our minor children. I am surprised that some posters were restricted from operating their children's accounts - no one ever asked me for a reason or justification.

In any case, my question does not relate to who can access the account or how. My question is specifically - do I legally own the funds? In case of bankruptcy for instance, can the accounts be attached?

I am confused because I am told I must pay wealth tax on the amount, but also that the funds do not legally belong to me... It must be one or the other, no??
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  #26  
Old 29.11.2012, 22:26
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Re: can a minor child legally 'own' a bank account?

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Thanks everyone for all the information ... perhaps not surprisingly, I am even more confused now!

My question related specifically to Post Finance accounts we opened for our minor children. I am surprised that some posters were restricted from operating their children's accounts - no one ever asked me for a reason or justification.

In any case, my question does not relate to who can access the account or how. My question is specifically - do I legally own the funds? In case of bankruptcy for instance, can the accounts be attached?

I am confused because I am told I must pay wealth tax on the amount, but also that the funds do not legally belong to me... It must be one or the other, no??
Bankrupcy does not exist in CH! I don't believe you own the funds, it's not even in your name!
As direct blood relatives will be liable for the debts , your children won't be off the hook for your debts as you won't be for theirs!

Last edited by fatmanfilms; 29.11.2012 at 22:36.
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  #27  
Old 29.11.2012, 22:49
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Re: can a minor child legally 'own' a bank account?

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I am confused because I am told I must pay wealth tax on the amount, but also that the funds do not legally belong to me... It must be one or the other, no??
No. You are simply RESPONSIBLE for your children's actions and thus LIABLE for their debt. Until they reach the age of 18. But you do not own the money.

Just like if you gift the child a car at the age of 16, and the child has a crash and causes damage to someone else's property: the child owns the car but you as parent are liable for the debt incurred.

So to ensure that everything is fairly reported, the parent reports the childs assets as part of his assets, and then the parent is liable for any debts incurred: such as a tax liability.

That's the Swiss way.
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  #28  
Old 29.11.2012, 22:54
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Re: can a minor child legally 'own' a bank account?

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No. You are simply RESPONSIBLE for your children's actions and thus LIABLE for their debt. Until they reach the age of 18. But you do not own the money.

Just like if you gift the child a car at the age of 16, and the child has a crash and causes damage to someone else's property: the child owns the car but you as parent are liable for the debt incurred.

So to ensure that everything is fairly reported, the parent reports the childs assets as part of his assets, and then the parent is liable for any debts incurred: such as a tax liability.

That's the Swiss way.
The responsibility for your children's debts don't end at age 18......
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  #29  
Old 29.11.2012, 22:58
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Re: can a minor child legally 'own' a bank account?

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The responsibility for your children's debts don't end at age 18......
okay it's clear that we are talking legalities here, so I don't really see the point you are making.
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  #30  
Old 30.11.2012, 00:18
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Re: can a minor child legally 'own' a bank account?

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what is the legal situation as regards the bank accounts people frequently open in the name of minor children?

does a minor child legally own title to such accounts and the funds? or do they legally belong to the parent?

the tax dept insists that the money is mine and therefore adds to my capital.

anyone understand how it really works??
The tax authorities also insist you declare your wifes assets on your tax return. I suspect that is more of an issue for a lot more people.
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  #31  
Old 30.11.2012, 00:28
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Re: can a minor child legally 'own' a bank account?

that is easier to understand/justify since as a couple you own assets (and incur debts or other liabilities) jointly.
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  #32  
Old 30.11.2012, 00:33
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Re: can a minor child legally 'own' a bank account?

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that is easier to understand/justify since as a couple you own assets (and incur debts or other liabilities) jointly.
Err? I suspect there are a lot more spouses with independent wealth and income than children. Not convinced or "convinceable"

Anyway wealth tax is next to nothing and the inheritance tax planning doesn't need you to dump assets on children. What is the real issue other than potentially large legacies from grandparents say, in which case you should do some tax planning with professional advice.
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  #33  
Old 30.11.2012, 02:18
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Re: can a minor child legally 'own' a bank account?

Children can legally own a bank account but not set one up themselves, thus it would have to be a parental decision to make it impossible for themselves to use it. However, the parents do have to list it in the tax declaration as their children's wealth is the parent's wealth until they are 18. (this is also what happens when minors start an apprentice ship here)
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  #34  
Old 30.11.2012, 09:51
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Re: can a minor child legally 'own' a bank account?

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that is easier to understand/justify since as a couple you own assets (and incur debts or other liabilities) jointly.
Unless you have separation of assets, or one of you inherits something.

Tom
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  #35  
Old 30.11.2012, 12:20
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Re: can a minor child legally 'own' a bank account?

The legal guardian has to list the child’s bank account on thier "Werschriftenverzeichnis" in doing so it is automatically carried over onto the "Vermögenssteuerformular" when using the computer program to fill out the forms. This has to be done until your child turns 18, unless they have earned income eg apprenticeship, then they have to file their own tax return. That is how I understand the situation after reading the documents listed below and have been doing the past few years for my children's accounts.


Refer to Article 232 in this document.
Die Einkommenssteuer natürlicher Personen

and Article 332 here.
Die Vermögenssteuer natürlicher Personen

you can find this information and more here.
Dossier Steuerinformationen

Unfortunately the info is mostly in german.
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