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Old 31.08.2020, 14:31
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Legal services bill question

Before leaving Switzerland I was in touch with a lawyer about the possibility of having any tax related documentation from the Kanton being sent to his address ( "Vollmacht für die Steuerrechtsvertretung"). He would then forward the post to me. This was necessary as I needed to give the Kanton a Swiss address in oder to deregister (Abmeldung). In the end, I had the Kanton send my post to a friend in CH so I never signed and returned the Vollmacht document which the lawyer had sent to me.



Today, almost a year later, I received a bill for " Vollmacht für die Steuerrechtsvertretung". Do I have to pay this bill? The lawyer did prepare a "Vollmacht" document but I did not actually sign it so he cannot have forwarded it to the Kanton or done anything else on my behalf.
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Old 31.08.2020, 18:47
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Re: Legal services bill question

You probably need to pay for the preparation of the document and any discussion about it (via email or phone or in person).
Would you like to work for free?
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Old 01.09.2020, 07:07
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Re: Legal services bill question

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You probably need to pay for the preparation of the document and any discussion about it (via email or phone or in person).
Would you like to work for free?

It is normally possible to enquire about services without receiving a bill for the enquiry. I did not ask him to prepare document, I just enquired if he offered this service. Also the amount of the bill is the same as if he actually provided the service, which he did not.
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Old 01.09.2020, 07:22
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Re: Legal services bill question

If what you asked is "do you provide the service" and nothing more, then I would agree that you don't have to pay the bill.

Perhaps a polite "There must be a misunderstanding as I never made use of this service or requested it" may help? Might be a mistake?
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Old 01.09.2020, 10:10
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Re: Legal services bill question

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If what you asked is "do you provide the service" and nothing more, then I would agree that you don't have to pay the bill.

Perhaps a polite "There must be a misunderstanding as I never made use of this service or requested it" may help? Might be a mistake?

Yes, I was never actually in contact with the lawyer himself. His secretary sent me a document which I imagine is just a template with my name filled in. Rather strange that I get a bill one year later also. Anyway I did contact the secretary who will get back to me. I am just curious if anyone knows what the legal position is on sending bills to people who have not actually signed up for any service (nor received it).
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Old 01.09.2020, 13:00
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Re: Legal services bill question

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I am just curious if anyone knows what the legal position is on sending bills to people who have not actually signed up for any service (nor received it).

"Hello do you provide Vollmacht services?"

"Yes we do what's your address?"
"it's 22 Acacia Av."
"That'll be 200 CHF please".


Contest it, wait for either cofirmation that it's not due or the Betreibung then contest the Betreibung if you get one. Then someone else will decide.
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Old 02.09.2020, 10:55
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Re: Legal services bill question

Something wrong here, but not by you. If you're leaving Switzerland the commune can "not" not deregister you. For tax matters you can give your address in the UK or wherever you're moving to and have any documentation sent there. So in this case you won't need a forwarding service. I've had personal experience of this on at least 5 occasions.

Back to your problem, if you just asked the about the possibility, you've nothing to pay. Write him a letter saying why you won't pay and it's then up to him to take it further - which is unlikely as he'd have to fight his case in a foreign court.

Last edited by LuganoPirate; 02.09.2020 at 11:35. Reason: correction
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Old 02.09.2020, 14:02
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Re: Legal services bill question

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Something wrong here, but not by you. If you're leaving Switzerland the commune can "not" not deregister you. For tax matters you can give your address in the UK or wherever you're moving to and have any documentation sent there. So in this case you won't need a forwarding service. I've had personal experience of this on at least 5 occasions.
I think this is really good info. They asked us the same when we left and we did not question it. In the end it was a pain and I would have preferred them just sending us things abroad etc. So good for others to know that you can contest this.

K
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Old 03.09.2020, 07:16
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Re: Legal services bill question

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Something wrong here, but not by you. If you're leaving Switzerland the commune can "not" not deregister you. For tax matters you can give your address in the UK or wherever you're moving to and have any documentation sent there. So in this case you won't need a forwarding service. I've had personal experience of this on at least 5 occasions.

Yes, I tried explaining this to the official involved but she insisted and said that I "could not" deregister without providing a Swiss address. It is hard to contest this when you have a removals company booked for just two days later.
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Old 03.09.2020, 07:17
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Re: Legal services bill question

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Back to your problem, if you just asked the about the possibility, you've nothing to pay. Write him a letter saying why you won't pay and it's then up to him to take it further - which is unlikely as he'd have to fight his case in a foreign court.

The one thing that concerns me is that he could "sell" the debt to a debt collection company.
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Old 03.09.2020, 09:26
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Re: Legal services bill question

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The one thing that concerns me is that he could "sell" the debt to a debt collection company.
Why would that worry you?

Tom
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Old 03.09.2020, 10:25
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Re: Legal services bill question

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Yes, I tried explaining this to the official involved but she insisted and said that I "could not" deregister without providing a Swiss address. It is hard to contest this when you have a removals company booked for just two days later.
The thing to do in this case, is to tell them bluntly that you don't have an address in Switzerland as you're leaving the country. Then leave them your new address. Also send a letter to the tax office explaining same with your new address. Send it registered with proof of receipt. If they want money from you, you can be sure they'll send the demand wherever in the world you live.

The problem with many communes, is that you're doing something that for them is out of the ordinary, and they don't know how to cope. You experience this especially, when, though rare, something goes wrong. The Swiss just don't know how to cope as it should not happen!
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Old 03.09.2020, 11:23
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Re: Legal services bill question

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The thing to do in this case, is to tell them bluntly that you don't have an address in Switzerland as you're leaving the country.

Exactly what I did to which I got the reply - no Swiss address, no deregistration!
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Old 03.09.2020, 11:23
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Re: Legal services bill question

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Why would that worry you?

Tom

Because a debt collector might contact me and say nasty things to me.
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Old 03.09.2020, 11:57
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Re: Legal services bill question

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Exactly what I did to which I got the reply - no Swiss address, no deregistration!
You still being in their books, but having no address there is actually a bigger problem for them than it is for you. Since you are living elsewhere, and can prove that, and presumably have income from wherever you're working, which will be declared and taxed, there is nothing they can tax you on.

Next, when whoever takes over your residence goes to register, it will show you are still there, and this will create problems for both the commune and the new resident. You could for example, apply online for a loan, as you are still shown as living there, and default - and I'm not saying you would, but an example. this would again create headaches for all concerned except you as they don't know where you are.

So while these civil servants can be quite petty, and not knowing the rules but having the power, can make life very difficult.
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Old 03.09.2020, 17:11
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Re: Legal services bill question

DR's banned.

For abusive behavior? DR??? Not really. I don't think I've ever seen an aggressive post by him.
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Old 03.09.2020, 18:27
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Re: Legal services bill question

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Exactly what I did to which I got the reply - no Swiss address, no deregistration!
Same here. Did not look at the legality of it and trusted them. I was lucky to have family in CH as would not have wanted anyone else really getting our tax returns and all....
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Old 11.09.2020, 08:28
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Re: Legal services bill question

In the end the bill has been deleted, so all is well that ends well!
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