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Old 13.05.2018, 08:04
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Stock trading basics for non-US

I have some basic questions about investing in individual stocks as well as ETFs, internationally and within CH, for someone resident in CH but neither US nor EU citizens.
  • Do I need to pay capital gain or income taxes in the destination countries? I know the US charge capital gain tax, but if I'm not a US resident nor a citizen, do I have to? It's OK if the broker does it for me, but the last thing I want is to have to fill in another detailed tax form.
  • To use brokers, like IB, do I need to hold an account in the US or destination countries? Ideally, I just want to invest everything based on my CH account.
  • What're some no-fuss low-fee options? I'm not looking for any tips or premium services. From what I see, CH banks charge quite a lot of fees. Could you recommend some alternatives? I only know of IB and Robinhood (because of the few threads down).

Sorry if these are already covered before - I did some searches, but some information is older and just to get an up-to-date info.
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Old 13.05.2018, 09:33
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Re: Stock trading basics for non-US

AFAIK tax has to be collected. Usually the brocker will withhold it. If you want your fair share back then you will need to file.
In anycase you will need to declare here in CH.

As for a cheap broker here in CH:

May want to try the postfinance.

As for IB, I beleive they are US based.
May also want to look into Ameritrade.
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Old 13.05.2018, 09:46
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Re: Stock trading basics for non-US

Some of use Swissquote, but it isn't cheap to trade.

A general principle of taxation is that you pay tax (income and capital gains and wealth) where you are resident.

Switzerland doesn't have capital gains tax, though if you trade often and meet other criteria, your trading may count as your profession and then your profits are income tax.

Other countries may impose a withholding tax. You can usually offset this against other taxs you owe, by filling in your Swiss tax return. In my last BL return, there was an option for a standard deduction, rather than claiming back the actual withholding tax. This worked out far better for me.

The value of your shareholding on 31st December is used to calculate your wealth tax liability.

Except for the withholding taxes, all the tax I'm talking about here is Swiss tax.
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Old 13.05.2018, 13:08
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Re: Stock trading basics for non-US

Many thanks to both!
So I take it that Interactive Brokers, Robinhood and other US-based brokerages are not suitable for non-US citizens? I heard fees at Swissquote are on the high side, and not many funds are offered by Postfinance. I guess there's no option...
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Old 13.05.2018, 14:33
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Re: Stock trading basics for non-US

I use IB and I have no affiliation to the US. Iím British.

You can set it all up online and actually have an account through the IB UK company I believe.

I had a UK based broker before. IB is the cheapest iíve ever come across. Keep in mind the $10 monthly fee if you are inactive and you have less than $100k in the account.

Robinhood is not available for CH yet i donít think
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Old 13.05.2018, 14:44
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Re: Stock trading basics for non-US

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Many thanks to both!
So I take it that Interactive Brokers, Robinhood and other US-based brokerages are not suitable for non-US citizens? I heard fees at Swissquote are on the high side, and not many funds are offered by Postfinance. I guess there's no option...
There are many historical and several active trading threads already on the forum with a lot of relevant information inside them to your questions. Maybe search for and read them?

Last edited by Chuff; 13.05.2018 at 15:22.
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Old 13.05.2018, 14:46
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Re: Stock trading basics for non-US

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Many thanks to both!
So I take it that Interactive Brokers, Robinhood and other US-based brokerages are not suitable for non-US citizens? I heard fees at Swissquote are on the high side, and not many funds are offered by Postfinance. I guess there's no option...
AFAIK Ameritrade does business with non residents.
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Old 13.05.2018, 23:53
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Re: Stock trading basics for non-US

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Sorry if these are already covered before - I did some searches, but some information is older and just to get an up-to-date info.
Nonsense. Thes questions you ask are of the fundamental kind, most remain unchanged for decades. You're just being lazy.
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