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Old 17.09.2015, 21:15
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Open a new Bank account & tax Implications as Auslandschweizer

Hello, I was just after a little advice. I live in the UK and I am a UK and Swiss citizen. In 2008 I purchased a holiday home in Switzerland. I have rented the holiday home out a few times but nothing substantial and no profit has ever been made. I do pay tax on that apartment in Switzerland. I am employed in the UK and pay tax on my UK earnings in the UK. The current bank account I have in Switzerland (after the new tax agreement in 2010) was subject to the one off payment and witholding tax for future income. As the bank account only ever had a very small amount of money in it, it has only been used for paying bills associated to the apartment, this is why I went down the road of the witholding tax as I only had to pay around 50 to cover any owed tax for the past and the witholding tax works out at around 4 per year. As you can see we are talking very small amounts.
I kind of sleep walked into playing witholding tax, as it was so cheap. However now I've looked more closely at what a witholding tax is, I really don't like it, coupled with that the charges for having an account and living abroad are very high at my current bank. I've been told by the bank that I cannot stop playing witholding tax as this is the pathway I chose. So I am looking to close that bank account and open another. Postfinance for example.
My question is, if I open a postfinance account and close my current bank account, I understand that postfinance will send my details to HMRC in the UK. So what are the implications of that, is it automatic information on my balance etc, and do HMRC work out if I need to pay tax? Or are just my details passed over and I then have to disclose all the data? Or can I just open the Postfinance bank account as if this is my first account I am opening, as I've been paying tax to the UK through the witholding tax anyway? Do I have to drag up the past for what is essentially peanuts?
I am just not sure of the course of action. I want to find out all the information I can before I go and speak to a tax advisor or open another bank account. I find all the tax stuff very daunting and I sort of buried my head in the sand to get into this situation. I would rather all this witholding tax never happened but I did nothing and got put on it by default.
Any information would be of great help. Also if there are any advisors that anyone can recommend in the Sussex/Brighton area it would really help.
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Old 17.09.2015, 21:32
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Re: Open a new Bank account & tax Implications as Auslandschweizer

HMRC are only interested in income, so any interest. You don't show balances on a UK tax return.

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Hello, I was just after a little advice. I live in the UK and I am a UK and Swiss citizen. In 2008 I purchased a holiday home in Switzerland. I have rented the holiday home out a few times but nothing substantial and no profit has ever been made. I do pay tax on that apartment in Switzerland. I am employed in the UK and pay tax on my UK earnings in the UK. The current bank account I have in Switzerland (after the new tax agreement in 2010) was subject to the one off payment and witholding tax for future income. As the bank account only ever had a very small amount of money in it, it has only been used for paying bills associated to the apartment, this is why I went down the road of the witholding tax as I only had to pay around 50 to cover any owed tax for the past and the witholding tax works out at around 4 per year. As you can see we are talking very small amounts.
I kind of sleep walked into playing witholding tax, as it was so cheap. However now I've looked more closely at what a witholding tax is, I really don't like it, coupled with that the charges for having an account and living abroad are very high at my current bank. I've been told by the bank that I cannot stop playing witholding tax as this is the pathway I chose. So I am looking to close that bank account and open another. Postfinance for example.
My question is, if I open a postfinance account and close my current bank account, I understand that postfinance will send my details to HMRC in the UK. So what are the implications of that, is it automatic information on my balance etc, and do HMRC work out if I need to pay tax? Or are just my details passed over and I then have to disclose all the data? Or can I just open the Postfinance bank account as if this is my first account I am opening, as I've been paying tax to the UK through the witholding tax anyway? Do I have to drag up the past for what is essentially peanuts?
I am just not sure of the course of action. I want to find out all the information I can before I go and speak to a tax advisor or open another bank account. I find all the tax stuff very daunting and I sort of buried my head in the sand to get into this situation. I would rather all this witholding tax never happened but I did nothing and got put on it by default.
Any information would be of great help. Also if there are any advisors that anyone can recommend in the Sussex/Brighton area it would really help.
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Old 17.09.2015, 21:37
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Re: Open a new Bank account & tax Implications as Auslandschweizer

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HMRC are only interested in income, so any interest. You don't show balances on a UK tax return.
So I have been paying tax on my income through the witholding tax anyway I guess. So say I do open another bank account, shall I just do it and wait for HMRC to contact me and start filling in a tax return then?
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Old 17.09.2015, 21:41
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Re: Open a new Bank account & tax Implications as Auslandschweizer

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So I have been paying tax on my income through the witholding tax anyway I guess. So say I do open another bank account, shall I just do it and wait for HMRC to contact me and start filling in a tax return then?
No, in the UK your responsible for your own tax matters & must make a return if you need to. It's called self assessment.
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Old 17.09.2015, 22:18
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Re: Open a new Bank account & tax Implications as Auslandschweizer

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No, in the UK your responsible for your own tax matters & must make a return if you need to. It's called self assessment.
Ok, so I close my current bank account and open a new bank account and contact HMRC to say I have opened a bank account in Switzerland and ask for a self assessment form? As I've already paid tax on income through the withhold tax on my old account, do I have to tell them about the old account? I only ever do a tax return in Switzerland. My UK earnings are PAYE. Also for 8 a year interest I receive, it seems like an awful lot to go through. Sorry if I come across as dumb. I've pretty much done everything up til now on my own and my family leave such things to me. Unfortunately I don't have a clue.
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Old 17.09.2015, 22:26
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Re: Open a new Bank account & tax Implications as Auslandschweizer

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Ok, so I close my current bank account and open a new bank account and contact HMRC to say I have opened a bank account in Switzerland and ask for a self assessment form? As I've already paid tax on income through the withhold tax on my old account, do I have to tell them about the old account? I only ever do a tax return in Switzerland. My UK earnings are PAYE. Also for 8 a year interest I receive, it seems like an awful lot to go through. Sorry if I come across as dumb. I've pretty much done everything up til now on my own and my family leave such things to me. Unfortunately I don't have a clue.
TBH they probably won't give a Xuck, as the amount is so small. If you EVER do get a return from HRMC do not forget to declare. I have a feeling from 2015/16 small amounts are tax free, same for dividends.
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Old 17.09.2015, 22:27
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Re: Open a new Bank account & tax Implications as Auslandschweizer

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TBH they probably won't give a Xuck, as the amount is so small. If you EVER do get a return from HRMC do not forget to declare. I have a feeling from 2015/16 small amounts are tax free, same for dividends.
Thank you for your help.
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Old 18.09.2015, 09:21
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Re: Open a new Bank account & tax Implications as Auslandschweizer

Most banks won't open for non-residents and if they do, you need chunky money to tempt them, around Chf 250k so i understand
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Old 18.09.2015, 10:56
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Re: Open a new Bank account & tax Implications as Auslandschweizer

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Most banks won't open for non-residents and if they do, you need chunky money to tempt them, around Chf 250k so i understand
I have a list of banks that will take a fixed Swiss address even though you are not domicile. Post finance is one.
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