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  #21  
Old 26.09.2016, 20:52
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Re: Interactive brokers withholding tax

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You then have the option of requesting a tax refund from the IRS if tax was withheld at source for US-source income, based on the relevant US-Swiss tax treaty, or you follow the suggestions above re disclosing the withholding to the Swiss tax authorities and using it as an off-set.
Let me get this straight. So I go to the tax authorities and say: "Hey, Switzerland, I paid WTAX to USA, Germany, France, UK, so please let me pay less tax in Switzerland, ok?"
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  #22  
Old 26.09.2016, 22:01
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Re: Interactive brokers withholding tax

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Let me get this straight. So I go to the tax authorities and say: "Hey, Switzerland, I paid WTAX to USA, Germany, France, UK, so please let me pay less tax in Switzerland, ok?"
Not an expert on Swiss tax and off-setting. I'll let other forum members who know more on this topic speak to this issue.

What I do know is you can claim a refund from the IRS, based on the US-CH tax treaty, if you meet the Limitation on Benefits provisos. Here is the treaty. Check out Articles 2, 4, 10, 22 and 23 in particular.

Most institutional fund investors avoid withholding on US source FDAP income by delivering the proper tax withholding certificates and withholding statements upfront, citing the tax treaty's relevant article and the relevant withholding exemptions codes. But when withholding has been imposed, the institutional investor usually seeks a refund from the IRS based on the treaty. The IRS has recently made it more difficult to do so but it is still an important method for institutional investors (and family offices, etc.). Of course, they have specialists handling these refund requests.

Many, if not all, of the global custody houses (who often did the withholding in the first place) offer tax refund services to these clients (and not just for US source income but many other countries' as well).

Here is the technical explanation of the treaty.
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  #23  
Old 26.09.2016, 23:56
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Re: Interactive brokers withholding tax

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Thanks a lot, that's the kind of clarification I needed. What remains a mystery, is how a multi-country ETF domiciled abroad deals with withholding tax. In this case we have three countries involved:
  • domicile of the investor (Switzerland)
  • domicile of the fund (Ireland)
  • domicile of the stock (US, Germany, Japan, China, etc.)
This is an excellent question. I continue to think about it now that I can start investing in ETFs, which are usually offered in multiple stock markets for a given index (e.g., I see iShares MSCI World UCITS ETF offered in Switzerland, Germany, UK, Italy, and the Netherlands).

I thought it was the country of the fund (i.e. the stock market where it is sold), but then I read through this article and it seems you pay taxes to the country of the investor (obviously) and to the country of the assets backing the derivative, which are paid by the fund itself.

Two questions arise:
  1. How do I choose the stock market of an ETF when it is offered in multiple markets? The currency of the ETF is sometimes not even consistent with the currency of the stock market…
  2. I have heard that accumulating ETFs, European ETFs which do not distribute dividends but reinvest them automatically, might be a good idea for us “Quellenbesteuerte”, as the ETF should not pay any withholding tax to the country of the assets. Is this true?
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Old 27.09.2016, 07:49
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Re: Interactive brokers withholding tax

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Let me get this straight. So I go to the tax authorities and say: "Hey, Switzerland, I paid WTAX to USA, Germany, France, UK, so please let me pay less tax in Switzerland, ok?"
As I understand it, yes. You fill in all the withholding tax you paid, and how it arose on your tax return.

Withholding tax is part of dual taxation treaties and is the result of international agreements in an effort to prevent tax evasion. The gain for the tax authorities is that they exchange information with foreign counter-parts about withholding tax, so they can spot irregularities. It also makes it harder to hide money abroad.
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  #25  
Old 27.09.2016, 11:19
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Re: Interactive brokers withholding tax

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This is an excellent question. I continue to think about it now that I can start investing in ETFs, which are usually offered in multiple stock markets for a given index (e.g., I see iShares MSCI World UCITS ETF offered in Switzerland, Germany, UK, Italy, and the Netherlands).

I thought it was the country of the fund (i.e. the stock market where it is sold), but then I read through this article and it seems you pay taxes to the country of the investor (obviously) and to the country of the assets backing the derivative, which are paid by the fund itself.

Two questions arise:
  1. How do I choose the stock market of an ETF when it is offered in multiple markets? The currency of the ETF is sometimes not even consistent with the currency of the stock market…
  2. I have heard that accumulating ETFs, European ETFs which do not distribute dividends but reinvest them automatically, might be a good idea for us “Quellenbesteuerte”, as the ETF should not pay any withholding tax to the country of the assets. Is this true?
Hey Ciuccio, nice to see somebody asking the same questions I am!

Ad1: Maybe someone will correct me, but I see a stock exchange like a shop. So each stock Exchange has their own fees, you can find them products traded in local currency (but not always), and they vary in availability of the product (when you place an order, you may wait a Long time before you close it).

As I am earning in CHF, it seems Logical to me to buy an ETF listed in CHF, because it saves me the currency Exchange fee. An example would be VUSA or VWRL which are both available in CHF.

The iShares ETFs are traded in London, Zurich, Milan etc. but in Zurich they are listed in USD. I don't know why. In this casee I guess the only difference is the fee. They are all anyway domiciled in Ireland.

Ad2: This is the question I have asked before and didn't get a straight answer. I guess we won't knowit until we buy a couple of ETFs and wait a year
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  #26  
Old 27.09.2016, 11:29
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Re: Interactive brokers withholding tax

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...
As I am earning in CHF, it seems Logical to me to buy an ETF listed in CHF, because it saves me the currency Exchange fee. ...
Not just that, it also reduces your currency exposure. For example, my UK investments are up 9.3% in GBP - and down 1.7% in CHF .
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  #27  
Old 27.09.2016, 20:06
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Re: Interactive brokers withholding tax

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Not just that, it also reduces your currency exposure. For example, my UK investments are up 9.3% in GBP - and down 1.7% in CHF .
I don't think it matters if you paid in CHF or in GBP, as long as it's the same product. To me currency exposure would mean that you hold currency (cash).
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Old 27.09.2016, 20:57
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Re: Interactive brokers withholding tax

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I don't think it matters if you paid in CHF or in GBP, as long as it's the same product. To me currency exposure would mean that you hold currency (cash).
Fully agree on this point as well. Currency exposure is between your income and the location of the underlying assets backing the derivative, and the currency of the fund should not matter.

I think I will also give priority to the Swiss stock market as it's the logical choice for us.

Just to go a tiny bit OT, I've recently started considering PostFinance funds. I have heard good things about them, together with Swisscanto funds. Moreover, the PostFinance website is embarrassingly clear and well structured on this matter: https://www.postfinance.ch/en/priv/p...vest/fund.html

Has anybody tried these products?
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  #29  
Old 30.09.2016, 09:40
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Re: Interactive brokers withholding tax

Hey guys, I just opened an account with Corner Trader and I see they charge 0.12% + 0.075% for Swiss trades and 2 cents per share on NYSE Arca trades. So in a comparison, buying 1000 shares at 100 USD would cost 195 USD on SWX and 20 USD on NYSE.

Why on earth would anyone buy something in Switzerland, that you can also buy on NYSE (like S&P 500 ETF)? Is it because of tax problems? Withholding tax maybe?
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  #30  
Old 30.09.2016, 18:17
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Re: Interactive brokers withholding tax

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Hey guys, I just opened an account with Corner Trader and I see they charge 0.12% + 0.075% for Swiss trades and 2 cents per share on NYSE Arca trades. So in a comparison, buying 1000 shares at 100 USD would cost 195 USD on SWX and 20 USD on NYSE.

Why on earth would anyone buy something in Switzerland, that you can also buy on NYSE (like S&P 500 ETF)? Is it because of tax problems? Withholding tax maybe?
I have also just opened an account with CornerTrader because of the lack of holding fees, so I am very interested in the answer.
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  #31  
Old 03.10.2016, 16:29
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Re: Interactive brokers withholding tax

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Hey guys, I just opened an account with Corner Trader and I see they charge 0.12% + 0.075% for Swiss trades and 2 cents per share on NYSE Arca trades. So in a comparison, buying 1000 shares at 100 USD would cost 195 USD on SWX and 20 USD on NYSE.

Why on earth would anyone buy something in Switzerland, that you can also buy on NYSE (like S&P 500 ETF)? Is it because of tax problems? Withholding tax maybe?
I double checked and there is also a stamp duty on abroad Transactions. According to Moneyland:
  • Stamp duties on Swiss shares (Swiss ISIN): 0.075%
  • Stamp duties on foreign shares (non-Swiss ISIN): 0.15%

So on Corner Trader the costs of buying 1000 Shares @ 100 USD would be as follows:
  • Swiss shares: 120 USD commision + 75 USD Stamp Duty = 195 USD
  • Foreign shares: 20 USD commision + 150 USD Stamp Duty = 170 USD

I guess in any case the fee in much higher that the one by Interactive Brokers.
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  #32  
Old 03.10.2016, 16:37
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Re: Interactive brokers withholding tax

Yep, swiss brokers rip you off big time, that's what I've been telling you on the other thread.
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  #33  
Old 03.10.2016, 16:44
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Re: Interactive brokers withholding tax

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Yep, swiss brokers rip you off big time, that's what I've been telling you on the other thread.
It's not the brokers, but the Swiss state. But the conclusion is the same.

Would you know how it works if I want to send my CHF from a Swiss bank to IB? I read somewhere that IB gives you a CHF account number in UK, and that the bank will charge a commission.

Another thing I've been wondering about is security. At a bank you have an SMS code or a token Card for two factor authentication. At Corner Trader it Looks like there is just a Password... What does it look like at IB?
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  #34  
Old 03.10.2016, 17:00
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Re: Interactive brokers withholding tax

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Would you know how it works if I want to send my CHF from a Swiss bank to IB? I read somewhere that IB gives you a CHF account number in UK
Yes, that's the case for me

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and that the bank will charge a commission.
Yes, international CHF transfers unfortunately ain't free, unlike EUR-denominated SEPA transfers.

PostFinance charged me once 10-20 Fr or so. Don't remember exact amount, it was their own fee of 6 Fr plus a secret intermediary bank's fee. I've heard rumors from other peoples that PostFinance once admitted that they themselves were intermediary bank in such a transfer and if you'd complain hard enough they might out of courtesy lift the intermediate fee.

The cheapest way to do CH->UK CHF transfer that I've found so far is, incidentally, through Swissquote. Domestic CHF transfer is free and Swissquote charges you only 2 CHF for international transfers. No intermediary fees have been charged to me so far on a transfer to IB. Keeping a cash-only account with Swissquote is free.

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Another thing I've been wondering about is security. At a bank you have an SMS code or a token Card for two factor authentication. At Corner Trader it Looks like there is just a Password... What does it look like at IB?
Password plus second factor auth.
For higher valued customers, a credit card sized electronic otp calculator secured with a pin code.
For low value starter accounts they send you a paper card with codes, but I think you have also the option to request the calculator for a fee.
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Old 13.11.2016, 17:47
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Re: Interactive brokers withholding tax

Hello everyone,

I found this interesting thread and would like to ask you if anyone knows how does it work for income from options trading. Do I have to declare them as normal income here in CH or do I have to declare in the US? And what about fees? May I deduct them from the income before declaring?

Thank you
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  #36  
Old 13.11.2016, 18:10
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Re: Interactive brokers withholding tax

You'll probably have little problems qualifying to be taxed as a professional trader if you engage in derivatives trading, and then you should be much more concerned with the capital gains taxes you'll be paying. Seek a professional advice.
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Old 05.02.2017, 16:00
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Re: Interactive brokers withholding tax

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You then have the option of requesting a tax refund from the IRS if tax was withheld at source for US-source income, based on the relevant US-Swiss tax treaty, or you follow the suggestions above re disclosing the withholding to the Swiss tax authorities and using it as an off-set.
Does any of you have experience with requesting a tax refund from the IRS?

If I understand it correctly, form 1042-S details the dividend income I had on my IB account, and how much the IRS taxed it. Then, I include this dividend income in my Swiss tax declaration; it is then considered as income and taxed at the standard income rate (18-22% ish ?). At that point, I've been double taxed (15% by IRS; income tax by CH). I then have to file a 1040NR form to the IRS to get that 15% back.

If this is correct, could someone let me know how the filing of the 1040NR form works? What kind of information do I need to send to the IRS? A completed 1040NR form + copy of the 1042-S form + some proof that I filed in CH?
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  #38  
Old 05.02.2017, 16:16
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Re: Interactive brokers withholding tax

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Does any of you have experience with requesting a tax refund from the IRS?

If I understand it correctly, form 1042-S details the dividend income I had on my IB account, and how much the IRS taxed it. Then, I include this dividend income in my Swiss tax declaration; it is then considered as income and taxed at the standard income rate (18-22% ish ?). At that point, I've been double taxed (15% by IRS; income tax by CH). I then have to file a 1040NR form to the IRS to get that 15% back.

If this is correct, could someone let me know how the filing of the 1040NR form works? What kind of information do I need to send to the IRS? A completed 1040NR form + copy of the 1042-S form + some proof that I filed in CH?
Assuming you not a US citizen, just fill in a Swiss tax return, the DA-1 part deals with this. Foreign tax refunded in about 6 weeks (ZH).
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Old 05.02.2017, 22:34
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Re: Interactive brokers withholding tax

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Assuming you not a US citizen, just fill in a Swiss tax return, the DA-1 part deals with this. Foreign tax refunded in about 6 weeks (ZH).
Thanks for your reply!

I am indeed not a US citizen. Living in VD, CH.
What is the "DA-1" part? What action do I need to take to get this refund then, or does this go automatic? In that case, the CH tax office will need the 1042-S, no?
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Old 05.02.2017, 22:53
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Re: Interactive brokers withholding tax

OK, figured out the DA-1 part. That was a question that I could just have googled, apologies.

However, I have no clue how to fill this in. I got several US stocks, which pay monthly or quarterly dividends; and I buy and sell every now and then. So that becomes very complex to enter for each stock how much the value changed etc. Any advice on how to do that best? Easiest would be if I could just put one line that says how much I received as dividends in total, and how much taxes I already paid to IRS (basically, just putting the 1042-S).

Does the capital yield get taxed, or only dividends? Not easy to declare capital yields, given buy/sell and USD/CHF FX.
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