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Old 28.08.2013, 19:39
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Getting paid by US company while working in Switzerland

Hi all,

I am a resident of Switzerland, and am also working here. However, I am currently also working (part-time) as a consultant for a US Company based in California, but I am doing all the work from Switzerland. I will now send them my first invoice to receive payments. I am wondering about two things:

1. I still have a bank account in the US (from a few years ago). I am considering telling the company to wire the money (in USD) to my US bank account. Then I plan on using xe.com to transfer the money to my Swiss bank account. I think that would save me a lot of money compared to having the company wire transfer the money directly to my Swiss bank account (worse exchange rate and additional banking fees). However, I wonder if this has any negative implications, i.e., if this will raise any red flags somewhere, or if receiving the money on a US bank account will have any implications in terms of US taxes?

2. On that issue of US taxes: I know that I have to pay Swiss taxes (as well as AHV etc.) on that additional income. However, I wonder if I also have to pay US federal taxes or California state taxes?

Any advice on one or both questions is highly appreciated!

Thanks a lot.
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Old 28.08.2013, 21:23
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Re: Getting paid by US company while working in Switzerland

Are you a green card holder or US citizen?
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Old 28.08.2013, 21:29
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Re: Getting paid by US company while working in Switzerland

No, I am not a Green card holder, and I am not a US citizen (but I understand why you are asking). I a German citizen.

Thanks.
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Old 28.08.2013, 22:50
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Re: Getting paid by US company while working in Switzerland

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No, I am not a Green card holder, and I am not a US citizen (but I understand why you are asking). I a German citizen.

Thanks.
You should not have to pay US or Californian taxes
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Old 28.08.2013, 23:15
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Re: Getting paid by US company while working in Switzerland

The source is a US based Company. You could be liable for
taxes in the US although you are not a "US Person".
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Old 29.08.2013, 01:44
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Re: Getting paid by US company while working in Switzerland

Thanks! Any thoughts on whether it makes a difference whether I get the money wired to a US bank account or directly to a Swiss band account?

Thanks!
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Old 29.08.2013, 01:53
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Re: Getting paid by US company while working in Switzerland

No difference. Have you been asked to complete a W9 or W8?
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Old 29.08.2013, 02:30
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Re: Getting paid by US company while working in Switzerland

No, I have not yet been asked to complete a W9 or W8 form.

In my contract with the company it says that the "company shall not be required to withhold any income or other taxes imposed on income" earned by me, and that I "agree to take any action necessary to ensure that the Company is not subject to such a requirement".

Any thoughts?
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Old 29.08.2013, 23:15
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Re: Getting paid by US company while working in Switzerland

I am virtually certain you will not be up for personal income tax in USA or California.

i am a qualified accountant, not US qualified or a US tax expert, but I lived and worked in the US as a Controller and we never deducted with holding tax from anyone (although I believe it is possible depending upon country of vendor) and then I was in your situation working physically here being paid by the US except I have a green card (wife is US citizen), so I was subject to US tax law/ returns.

I will try and find out more I have loads of US CPA contacts. Or you could pay PWC or EY for advice, it shouldn`t take long, maybe a chf500 consulting bill if you really want peace of mind.

If your company is reporting nothing how would the IRS even know? I think as long as you are paying taxes here you are lawfully not required to pay there.

The answer would be in reading a double tax treaty between USA and Switzerland.
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Old 30.08.2013, 08:35
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Re: Getting paid by US company while working in Switzerland

I worked for US company remotely a few years ago. I signed a W8 (if I remember correctly) and paid no tax there.
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