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Old 09.12.2012, 15:44
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Relocating to the US, EU Citizen

Hi all

I have been living in Switzerland for 4 years and due to work I am relocating to the US. I am a European Union NAtional and will get a working permit in the US (L Visa).

Here in Switzerland I operate with Postfinance and Swissquote.

Postfinance told me they would close my account after 1 to 2 months of me leaving the country for the US. No matter what kind of money I have with them.

Swissquote told me they would keep my account open.

Ernst&Young are telling me I can indeed keep Swissquote open, but have to report it to the IRS. They mentioned I should consider whether it makes sense or not to transfer actually all my stock investments to a US Broker. We are talking here about +-250K CHF that I have in Swissquote.

What do you people think?
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Old 09.12.2012, 16:16
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Re: Relocating to the US, EU Citizen

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Ernst&Young are telling me I can indeed keep Swissquote open, but have to report it to the IRS. They mentioned I should consider whether it makes sense or not to transfer actually all my stock investments to a US Broker. We are talking here about +-250K CHF that I have in Swissquote.

What do you people think?
Yes, Postfinance will close your account in fairly short order once you go to the US. Since you have an L, which is dependent on employment and has to be renewed every few years or so, keep your Swissquote account and just report it unless you're planning an extended stay in the US. It'll just keep things more simple as the IRS won't tax you any more or any less depending on where the money actually resides. Of course, if E&Y think you should move it to the US, they have more insight to the horrors of the IRS than I do, but I'd personally leave it where it is unless moving for a long while or permanently to the US.
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Old 09.12.2012, 18:59
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Re: Relocating to the US, EU Citizen

The only difference I see is having the account in chf vs usd could open you up for exchange risk possibly subject to taxation. I don`t know that for sure but it would be a question.

Does this mean you are cashing your pension? If so you REALLY need to sort that out before you become a US tax resident, otherwise the US will tax it.

Friends who just relocated to the US (EU nationals) really had to push hard to make this happen because it kind of threw HR out of their normal processes (because you have to deregister to get the pension?). What ever it takes to have the pension taxed only in Switzerland. This you should push EY, your HR, and pension fund to make sure it happens.
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Old 10.12.2012, 22:12
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Re: Relocating to the US, EU Citizen

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Hi all

I have been living in Switzerland for 4 years and due to work I am relocating to the US. I am a European Union NAtional and will get a working permit in the US (L Visa).

Here in Switzerland I operate with Postfinance and Swissquote.

Postfinance told me they would close my account after 1 to 2 months of me leaving the country for the US. No matter what kind of money I have with them.

What do you people think?
A bit surprising this as you will be on a work permit only in US so no permanent residence or citizen and yet the banks/Postfinance want to close the account.
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Old 11.12.2012, 06:00
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Re: Relocating to the US, EU Citizen

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A bit surprising this as you will be on a work permit only in US so no permanent residence or citizen and yet the banks/Postfinance want to close the account.
Not surprising at all. Banking is very closely tied to residency; the mandate of PostFinance is to serve all residents of Switzerland.
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