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Old 17.10.2013, 15:11
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Question about Swiss pension and tax in the UK

Hello there

I'm wondering if anyone on this site can enlighten me regarding the basic Swiss pension and tax in the UK.

I moved back to the UK some 30 years ago but continued paying into the basic Swiss old age pension AVS - I think it is pillar 1 and started to claim my Swiss pension at the age of 62 in the UK.

HMRC forms tell me that I am entitled to submit my Swiss pension income minus 10%. Recently someone mentioned that I could only do this if the pension had been subjected to tax in Switzerland before being sent here.

Does anyone have any info. regarding this.

Many thanks.

Last edited by lost_inbroad; 17.10.2013 at 16:34. Reason: changed title
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Old 17.10.2013, 16:31
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Re: swissmiss67

Why not just believe HMRC and ignore what your friend says?

You could also ask a UK accountant, but I don't think many people here can advise you.
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Old 17.10.2013, 18:01
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Re: Question about Swiss pension and tax in the UK

Just call them up and ask them!

They don't bite and are surprisingly helpful!!
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Old 17.10.2013, 19:12
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Re: Question about Swiss pension and tax in the UK

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Hello there

I'm wondering if anyone on this site can enlighten me regarding the basic Swiss pension and tax in the UK.

I moved back to the UK some 30 years ago but continued paying into the basic Swiss old age pension AVS - I think it is pillar 1 and started to claim my Swiss pension at the age of 62 in the UK.

HMRC forms tell me that I am entitled to submit my Swiss pension income minus 10%. Recently someone mentioned that I could only do this if the pension had been subjected to tax in Switzerland before being sent here.

Does anyone have any info. regarding this.

Many thanks.
There are 2 assumptions that must be made:

First, you must be paying UK tax today on the 'arising basis'. After 30 years back in the UK, it's a fair guess you do, unless you're paying one Hell of a lot of 'non-dom' tax (remittance basis).

Second, you must be filing a self assessment form every year and including the 'foreign pages'.

If both are true, then the general agreement is you do only pay tax on 90% of the gross foreign pension (10% tax free).

Go to the HMRC site, look for self assessment, and then the instructions for the foreign pages. The instructions are clear that only 90% of a qualifying foreign pension is taxed.

I'm not a professional, so the standard warnings of anything you hear over the internet applies.
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Old 19.01.2014, 01:14
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Re: Question about Swiss pension and tax in the UK

What if the Swiss pension is already taxed in Switzerland and not remitted to the UK? If one needs to file a UK tax return, can one receive a tax credit for the tax paid in Switzerland? (Assuming one is resident non-dom in the UK but would like to claim a personal allowance in the UK where there one receives a UK pension)?
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Old 19.01.2014, 10:00
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Re: Question about Swiss pension and tax in the UK

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What if the Swiss pension is already taxed in Switzerland and not remitted to the UK? If one needs to file a UK tax return, can one receive a tax credit for the tax paid in Switzerland? (Assuming one is resident non-dom in the UK but would like to claim a personal allowance in the UK where there one receives a UK pension)?
You really need to speak to a specialist accountant on this one, however without remitting you won't get any tax credit,
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Old 19.01.2014, 11:31
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Re: Question about Swiss pension and tax in the UK

Thank you very much for your reply. I see now that my question was incorrectly phrased. The assumptions are all correct, the case is of a dual resident non-dom, who pays taxes on respective incomes in each of the countries, but would like to claim the full allowance in the UK. As I understand it, one needs to disclose the Swiss pension in the UK for this purpose (the only proper Swiss income I have which is very small). Is this correct? Would this disclosure affect one's future non-dom status? Would HMRC tax the already taxed pension or accept that it was already taxed? The income tax paid in Switzerland includes tax on imputed income on property, not just the tax on pension, and also wealth tax, the overall Swiss tax is higher than Swiss income. How would HMRC approach this lump-sum tax amount? Do they offset the full tax a dual resident pays in Switzerland (income tax+imputed tax+wealth tax) against the Swiss income before deciding whether one owes more tax in the UK (assuming that the money received in Switzerland is not remitted to the UK)? The total Swiss tax rate would be much higher than the UK tax rate. (Last year, HMRC gave me wrong advice on the phone that I can claim full UK allowance as non-dom without declaring my Foreign income, but it turned out not true and I had to pay extra tax instead of receiving a refund). I would be very grateful if some of the forum participants have been in a similar situation and could help.
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Old 19.01.2014, 12:06
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Re: Question about Swiss pension and tax in the UK

If you have a Swiss passport and live abroad you have the right to make voluntary contributions to the AHV and get a Swiss AHV pension in addition to whatever other state pension you may be getting. Switzerland has an agreement with the UK (and many other countries) whereby the AHV pension is handled and paid by the UK pension authority. If your country of residence has this agreement you cannnot get your AHV pension paid other than through your local pension authority. I know about this because one of my sisters lives in London and gets the extra AHV pension. She also was told by the tax people that she only had to declare 90% of her AHV pension to the UK tax people, so that is what she has been doing since she started getting it. She got a letter about it from the tax people but can't remember if there was any explanation of why.
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Old 19.01.2014, 12:50
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Re: Question about Swiss pension and tax in the UK

Dear Nixi, I am resident non-dom in the UK (British passport) and resident in Switzerland (no Swiss passport). I pay Swiss tax on my Swiss pension (plus imputed income and wealth tax on a flat) and also receive a UK state pension. Much of the latter is wiped out because I file as non-dom and HMRC first told me I qualify for the allowance and then said that I don't. I am trying to find out how to qualify for the UK allowance, what one needs to do for this, without paying a double tax. There is a double taxation agreement between the UK and Switzerland.
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Old 20.01.2014, 14:32
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Re: Question about Swiss pension and tax in the UK

Could anyone else in the forum help, please. I am trying to call HMRC, people who answer the phone don't know how to help and try to connect me to their technical advisor who does not answer the phone. The expat help number I used to call has changed and the new one does not answer either!
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Old 28.01.2014, 18:30
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Re: Question about Swiss pension and tax in the UK

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Dear Nixi, I am resident non-dom in the UK (British passport) and resident in Switzerland (no Swiss passport). I pay Swiss tax on my Swiss pension (plus imputed income and wealth tax on a flat) and also receive a UK state pension. Much of the latter is wiped out because I file as non-dom and HMRC first told me I qualify for the allowance and then said that I don't. I am trying to find out how to qualify for the UK allowance, what one needs to do for this, without paying a double tax. There is a double taxation agreement between the UK and Switzerland.
My understanding is:
  1. You are talking only about the state pensions in both Switzerland and the UK
  2. You are already drawing both a Swiss pension and a UK one

With the above scenario, both pensions should be combined and paid in the country you live in. Agreements between the the UK and CH allow this.
The tax you mention, is presumably income tax. This should only be paid once in the country you live in.

It is unclear to me why you are being taxed in the UK. If this is because of a much larger private pension scheme and you have addition income from the UK then you should seek expert advice. Try googling for more initial info and try finding out such things as QROPS (maybe this is too late for you).

What passport you hold is irrelevant. Naturally you should have the permission to live hear (B or C).

Finally, beware of finical advisors...
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