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Old 28.04.2014, 10:04
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Tax : Resident or Iternational Weekly Commuter

Arrived April 2011, UK IT contractor. L-permit. Tax deducted at soure by Payroll Co. Declared non-residency back in UK.

Filled out tax return here. Steueramt now say that because I had a house (which I didn't rent out till 2012 but was empty) my residence was still UK for 2011 and therefore am International Weekly Commuter.

The Good:
They say I can claim the cost of flights to the UK (to see my kid) every 3 weeks, plus my accommodation here.

The Bad:
I'd become UK tax resident and would have to contact the Inland Revenue and open a world of complication.

I'm thinking best to challenge International Weekly Commuter to keep tax affars simple and away from UK. But I'm not sure or not if the Swiss might actually be doing me a favour ?

For 2012 I had B permit and house rented out.
For 2013 I also became a permanent employee not contractor.

Best way forward ?
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Old 28.04.2014, 11:43
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Re: Tax : Resident or Iternational Weekly Commuter

Well, "the good" and "the bad" are not necessarily linked to each other.

I mean, you don't become UK resident because the Swiss determined that you are Swiss not-resident for (Swiss) tax purposes. Each country has their own rules about residency, and they are not linked.

I.e., They can even both actually decide that you were resident in each of the two countries for the same period; in that case you have to pay tax in both countries for the same income, though it will be reduced a bit as per the double taxation agreements. This tends to happen more often with the UK since the tax years are not aligned.


Even if you provide proof to the HMRC that the Swiss consider you Swiss tax resident, this means nothing to them: they have a right to use their own rules to determine residency. Eg simple example, the Swiss say that you are subject (potentially liable) to tax here if you lived in Switzerland for over 90 days, the HMRC says unless you were away for over 183 days, you are always UK tax resident.

So first you would need to check what is your situation with HMRC and residency (eg days spent in the country etc,) to see where you are.

To be honest, if your child is living in the UK, it will be difficult to escape being treated as resident there (this is further worsened that you own a place in the UK and not here). [Although there are always 'exceptions' the Oecd common rules about tax residency that have started being implemented across the EU place a lot of weight in where is your 'centre of life', in which case it's where the wife/child is.]

If that's the case, the Swiss are doing you a favor. But if you establish with certaintly that HMRC accepts you are non-resident despite the child+house, then you can challenge the Swiss decision, though I see no point: in that case, I'd just pay the Swiss tax at source or whatever and be happy about the saved tax.
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Old 28.04.2014, 12:22
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Re: Tax : Resident or Iternational Weekly Commuter

could be doing you a big favour if you end up paying no tax at all!
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Old 28.04.2014, 12:37
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Re: Tax : Resident or Iternational Weekly Commuter

You need to read & understand the statuary definition of residence in the the UK it's been law for over a year. As Phil_MCR of 20 minutes fame alludes to you might have a UK tax liability at all

If you have a full time contract of employment for more than a UK tax year, you won't have any liability to UK TAX, if the Swiss don't want to tax you either it's a win win situation
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Even if you provide proof to the HMRC that the Swiss consider you Swiss tax resident, this means nothing to them: they have a right to use their own rules to determine residency. Eg simple example, the Swiss say that you are subject (potentially liable) to tax here if you lived in Switzerland for over 90 days, the HMRC says unless you were away for over 183 days, you are always UK tax resident.
Incorrect, the statutory definition of UK residence is now law.
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Old 28.04.2014, 13:20
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Re: Tax : Resident or Iternational Weekly Commuter

i would caution that if something seems too good to be true, then it probably is. i'd keep some savings for the day that the swiss tax authorities change their mind and decide to tax you.

that said, one of my previous clients was a large multinational that had a similar situation where the two countries that could tax the income both considered the company 'not resident'. a strange situation that happened by accident rather than design and one which the company wasn't wanting to draw to the attention of either country.

i was always amazed that it had never been picked up considering that it was multiple billions of profit each year waiting to be taxed...
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Old 28.04.2014, 13:34
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Re: Tax : Resident or Iternational Weekly Commuter

A "non-resident" worker in CH is basically taxed at source. They let the double tax treaties take care of the rest . The Swiss don't care as someone else will be chasing extra tax.

I think I can be non resident for UK tax - Apr-Apr. But if also non resident in CH - then that seems wrong !

Why would the Swiss prefer me to be non-resident for tax ? I don't think they're saying "Hey, be International Commuter and claim lots of expenses"

There must be secondary reasons ... Rav entitlement, pension whatever
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Old 28.04.2014, 13:48
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Re: Tax : Resident or Iternational Weekly Commuter

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There must be secondary reasons ... Rav entitlement, pension whatever
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Old 28.04.2014, 14:12
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Re: Tax : Resident or Iternational Weekly Commuter

I suppose the question is which is better International Commuter or Tax Resident ? ... not just from a monetary perspective assuming i intend to stay in CH indefinately


... I'm sure plenty of expats have exactly the same circumstance as me
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Old 29.04.2014, 22:18
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Re: Tax : Resident or Iternational Weekly Commuter

Just an update.

As an International Commuter, one is entitled to claim an Expatriate Allowance of about 1500 per month. Plenty of discussion on here about people wanting to be considered Expatriate and therefore entitled to this.

After speaking to my accountant, this clearly means that the one is then not tax resident in Switzerland, but the Swiss will still deduct tax at source.

It means that the individual is then tax resident in their own country, which basically means tax liability and everything that goes with it. This is usually a bad thing.

So someone can take the carrot, but the aftertaste may not be so good.

Critical is to demonstrate a permanent move when coming here, best achieved by giving up any former residence. The day count is not the test, but instead 'center of life'. Having a wife and kids back home fails the test immediately.

Best to know so that arrangements on the correct basis can be planned.
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Old 29.04.2014, 22:26
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Re: Tax : Resident or Iternational Weekly Commuter

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Just an update.

As an International Commuter, one is entitled to claim an Expatriate Allowance of about 1500 per month. Plenty of discussion on here about people wanting to be considered Expatriate and therefore entitled to this.

After speaking to my accountant, this clearly means that the one is then not tax resident in Switzerland, but the Swiss will still deduct tax at source.

It means that the individual is then tax resident in their own country, which basically means tax liability and everything that goes with it. This is usually a bad thing.

So someone can take the carrot, but the aftertaste may not be so good.

Critical is to demonstrate a permanent move when coming here, best achieved by giving up any former residence. The day count is not the test, but instead 'center of life'. Having a wife and kids back home fails the test immediately.

Best to know so that arrangements on the correct basis can be planned.
There is no requirement to be tax resident anywhere. I don't believe your account is experienced in these matters or up to date. If you read the statutory definition of residence, it's quite possible to not be UK resident.........

Having a wife, kids & family in the UK along with being previously being tax resident just seriously reduces the no of days you can be in the UK if you don't have a FULL TIME CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT.
If you have a full time contract of employment, you are UK non resident....end of story with no further discussion. How the Swiss revenue treat you is irrelevant.
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Old 01.05.2014, 19:18
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Re: Tax : Resident or Iternational Weekly Commuter

It might be a good thing for you ...

The UK rules are completely separate, as others have said, and have very specific formulae for working out whether you are UK resident. This is independant from Switzerland's assessment of whether you are Swiss resident, but if you are consident dual-reisdent then the Double Taxation agreement comes into play.

As far as the Swiss set up is concerned being a Wochenaufenthalter means:
- You will definitely be considered to be married (if you are not a Wochenaufenthalter and your wife is not registered in CH you run the risk of being taxed as single as you are not actually living together)
- You can offset your flights and accomodation
- You CANNOT fill in a tax return at the end of the year even if you earn over 120'000CHF

Depending on your Gemeinde and costs this may be beneficial or may not. Given that this si Switzerland I'd suggest you call the Kanton to ask about the overall level of deductions they will allow and then do the detail calculations to find out which situation leaves you better off. If after the research you'd rather be taxed as married but fully resident then challenge it.
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Old 10.04.2016, 19:07
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Re: Tax : Resident or Iternational Weekly Commuter

My family and I currently reside in Switzerland. We are now planing for my wife and our children to move back to the UK. I would stay in Switzerland for a year and two.

If I have understood the information on http://www.taxguideforstudents.org.u...-in-the-uk#aot
correctly I would not have to pay any income tax on my Swiss income in the UK if I do not spend more than 91 days per year in the UK.

What I wonder is

1. Will I be taxed as single in Switzerland even if my wife does not work in the UK.
2. Will I still be paid the family allowance for my children if they are not resident in Switzerland anymore.
3. Would any of the costs of having two places and travelling between the places be tax-deductable in Switzerland?

Many thanks for all replies.
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Old 10.04.2016, 19:25
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Re: Tax : Resident or Iternational Weekly Commuter

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My family and I currently reside in Switzerland. We are now planing for my wife and our children to move back to the UK. I would stay in Switzerland for a year and two.

What I wonder is

2. Will I still be paid the family allowance for my children if they are not resident in Switzerland anymore.

Many thanks for all replies.
Yes, you'll need to complete form E411. See this prior thread:

Family Allowance & Child Benefit
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Old 10.04.2016, 19:26
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Re: Tax : Resident or Iternational Weekly Commuter

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My family and I currently reside in Switzerland. We are now planing for my wife and our children to move back to the UK. I would stay in Switzerland for a year and two.

If I have understood the information on http://www.taxguideforstudents.org.u...-in-the-uk#aot
correctly I would not have to pay any income tax on my Swiss income in the UK if I do not spend more than 91 days per year in the UK.

What I wonder is

1. Will I be taxed as single in Switzerland even if my wife does not work in the UK.
2. Will I still be paid the family allowance for my children if they are not resident in Switzerland anymore.
3. Would any of the costs of having two places and travelling between the places be tax-deductable in Switzerland?

Many thanks for all replies.
1) You will be taxed as a single person in CH
2) No they will get any family allowances from the UK
3 No
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Old 21.04.2016, 16:25
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Re: Tax : Resident or Iternational Weekly Commuter

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As far as the Swiss set up is concerned being a Wochenaufenthalter means:
- You will definitely be considered to be married (if you are not a Wochenaufenthalter and your wife is not registered in CH you run the risk of being taxed as single as you are not actually living together)
- You can offset your flights and accomodation
- You CANNOT fill in a tax return at the end of the year even if you earn over 120'000CHF

Depending on your Gemeinde and costs this may be beneficial or may not. Given that this si Switzerland I'd suggest you call the Kanton to ask about the overall level of deductions they will allow and then do the detail calculations to find out which situation leaves you better off. If after the research you'd rather be taxed as married but fully resident then challenge it.
Where can I find information about travel and accommodation deductions for weekly commuters? Would those costs be deducted from the taxable income?

I'm a EU citizen and B-permit holder, but I'm considering moving my main residence back to the EU while keeping my part-time job in Switzerland. I understand that would result in converting my current B-permit into a G-permit, and I'd have to pay taxes in my home country (following the treaties against double taxation).
Since I'd still need to rent an apartment in CH and I'd commute very often, tax deductions for those costs would really help...
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