Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Finance/banking/taxation  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #61  
Old 06.04.2011, 20:55
Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Rolle
Posts: 125
Groaned at 6 Times in 5 Posts
Thanked 27 Times in 24 Posts
Kristofolo has earned some respectKristofolo has earned some respect
Re: Swiss-American nonfilers: IRS frustration

I confirm you can go to any US embassy even outside of your country of residence.

In 2009, the wait list in Bern was 9 months, in Paris it was 2 weeks.
Reply With Quote
  #62  
Old 06.04.2011, 20:59
st2lemans's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Lugano
Posts: 28,839
Groaned at 1,966 Times in 1,488 Posts
Thanked 34,198 Times in 16,277 Posts
st2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Swiss-American nonfilers: IRS frustration

Quote:
View Post
In 2009, the wait list in Bern was 9 months
No, it was three months (I know, as I did it in 2009).

Tom
Reply With Quote
  #63  
Old 06.04.2011, 21:01
Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Rolle
Posts: 125
Groaned at 6 Times in 5 Posts
Thanked 27 Times in 24 Posts
Kristofolo has earned some respectKristofolo has earned some respect
Re: Swiss-American nonfilers: IRS frustration

You right, I meant (early) 2010.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Kristofolo for this useful post:
  #64  
Old 06.04.2011, 21:38
miniMia's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: romandie
Posts: 9,993
Groaned at 101 Times in 92 Posts
Thanked 9,106 Times in 4,522 Posts
miniMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond reputeminiMia has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Swiss-American nonfilers: IRS frustration

Thanks for the correction. Sorry I provided bad info. But I'd still be surprised if you had to wait 2 years for an appointment in Bern. Maybe someone (ie, beatholzer) and let us know.
Reply With Quote
  #65  
Old 06.04.2011, 22:15
st2lemans's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Lugano
Posts: 28,839
Groaned at 1,966 Times in 1,488 Posts
Thanked 34,198 Times in 16,277 Posts
st2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Swiss-American nonfilers: IRS frustration

Quote:
View Post
You right, I meant (early) 2010.
In that case, I wouldn't be surprised that it's up to 2 years now.

By the way, it was the only thing the US embassy ever did for free (in my experience)!

Tom
Reply With Quote
  #66  
Old 06.04.2011, 22:28
Texaner's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Zentralschweiz
Posts: 2,048
Groaned at 99 Times in 89 Posts
Thanked 2,984 Times in 1,429 Posts
Texaner has a reputation beyond reputeTexaner has a reputation beyond reputeTexaner has a reputation beyond reputeTexaner has a reputation beyond reputeTexaner has a reputation beyond reputeTexaner has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Swiss-American nonfilers: IRS frustration

Quote:
View Post
No, it was three months (I know, as I did it in 2009).

Tom
I, for one, would be interested in what that process was like, if you'd care to share some details.
Reply With Quote
  #67  
Old 07.04.2011, 08:20
st2lemans's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Lugano
Posts: 28,839
Groaned at 1,966 Times in 1,488 Posts
Thanked 34,198 Times in 16,277 Posts
st2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Swiss-American nonfilers: IRS frustration

Quote:
View Post
I, for one, would be interested in what that process was like, if you'd care to share some details.
1) Phone or email the embassy in Bern, they will send you some stuff in the mail.

2) Once you receive the stuff in the mail, phone to make an appointment. Meanwhile, fill out the forms they sent.

3) Show up for the scheduled appointment. Bring US and Swiss passports, and the forms they sent. Also, bring a book, as you will spend about two hours there, mostly doing nothing other than signing things from time to time, and making an oath to renounce your citizenship.

4) You're done, though officially it has to be approved by the state department, which can take a couple months (but your offical 'loss of citizenship date' is the date you did the stuff in Bern, and not the date it gets approved). They will send it to you registered snail mail (and a very slow snail, mine was approved after two weeks, but only arrived after two months!)

Tom
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank st2lemans for this useful post:
  #68  
Old 07.04.2011, 09:44
Verbier's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Lully VD
Posts: 4,210
Groaned at 16 Times in 16 Posts
Thanked 4,370 Times in 2,231 Posts
Verbier has a reputation beyond reputeVerbier has a reputation beyond reputeVerbier has a reputation beyond reputeVerbier has a reputation beyond reputeVerbier has a reputation beyond reputeVerbier has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Swiss-American nonfilers: IRS frustration

Since this tread has moved into the topic of Expatriation, I thought that I would re post the link for a special report on the why and how.

http://www.caseyresearch.com/article...s-expatriation

You can click on the link to get to the 29 page PDF.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Verbier for this useful post:
  #69  
Old 07.04.2011, 09:53
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Swiss-American nonfilers: IRS frustration

If anyone is dead-set on renouncing, and there is nothing to be said to change your mind, and would be willing to let a journalist document the process, please let me know via PM.
Reply With Quote
  #70  
Old 08.04.2011, 12:32
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Zrich
Posts: 117
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 62 Times in 38 Posts
Saulius has made some interesting contributions
Re: Swiss-American nonfilers: IRS frustration

Now lets say one does get caught by the IRS, can they do anything
if the person does not set foot on US soil, and has no property of value
in the US?
Reply With Quote
  #71  
Old 08.04.2011, 16:45
Karl's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Here
Posts: 1,955
Groaned at 186 Times in 84 Posts
Thanked 2,874 Times in 929 Posts
Karl has a reputation beyond reputeKarl has a reputation beyond reputeKarl has a reputation beyond reputeKarl has a reputation beyond reputeKarl has a reputation beyond reputeKarl has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Swiss-American nonfilers: IRS frustration

Quote:
View Post
If anyone is dead-set on renouncing, and there is nothing to be said to change your mind, and would be willing to let a journalist document the process, please let me know via PM.
Just contacted the US embassy in Bern. There are so many Americans in Switzerland wanting to renounce citizenship that the next available appointment to do so is in August 2012. No joke.
Reply With Quote
  #72  
Old 08.04.2011, 17:32
Cbass's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Zurich
Posts: 130
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 149 Times in 71 Posts
Cbass is considered knowledgeableCbass is considered knowledgeableCbass is considered knowledgeable
Re: Swiss-American nonfilers: IRS frustration

Quote:
View Post
Now lets say one does get caught by the IRS, can they do anything
if the person does not set foot on US soil, and has no property of value
in the US?
Just to clarify, I am not an attorney and none of this information can be relied upon as legal advice. The likelyhood of getting audited, which will lead to a declaration of deficiency is very slim. It is estimated that annually only 1-2% of the US populace is audited every year by the IRS. This information must be measured in conjunction with the under staffing of the IRS, which has been an ongoing problem for years now. Quite simply, unless you have a very large deficiency attached to your tax profile you will fall off the radar with most auditors.

However, if you are audited, and you do have a deficiency, depending on when your deficiency accrued there might be penalities, interest, interest on the penalties that will attach to your deficiency and increase your deficiency pretty rapidly. In addition, non-filing with a deficiency for any year is considered a misdemoner and punishable by up to 1 year in federal prison, and or a $25,000 fine, although criminal prosecution policy has been very uneven. In most cases the IRS will simply seek compliance to pay the deficiency plus penalties and interest. If you knowlingly did not file and your conduct of nonfiling is repetitive and your deficiency is large you can in some circumstances be charged with tax evasion. This crime carries a criminal penalty of 5 years in federal prison and or a fine of $100,000. This charge is very rare, and most of the time such cases feature a purposeful attempt on behalf of a high net-worth taxpayer to evade taxes through some sort of tax scheme.

If you don't respond to collection demands by the IRS, they can file a lien against any property you have in the US, enact a levy on any bank accounts in the US, and demand to garnish any US wages. Worst of all, all of these actions affect your US credit score and it is increasingly hard to do anything in the US without a decent credit score: (get a job, get an apartment, mortgage, etc.)

If you are a US citizen who is not intending to return ever to the United States, other than for criminal reasons (tax evasion) there is nothing the US Federal Government can do. All of the levies, wage garnishments and liens are inapplicable to people living in Switzerland. However, if you do for some reason decide to return to the US and the IRS has determined you have a deficiency, the IRS will make your life a living nightmare for the reasons mentioned above.

Which begs the questions: if you are not intending on returning to the US why hold on to a US passport. Why not renounce your citizenship?
If you plan on holding onto your US citizenship, then why don't you just file your taxes? You will not have to worry about being audited and you best of all you might be even eligible for a refund.
Reply With Quote
  #73  
Old 08.04.2011, 18:38
Suisse2008's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Genf/Waadt
Posts: 298
Groaned at 6 Times in 5 Posts
Thanked 262 Times in 134 Posts
Suisse2008 has earned some respectSuisse2008 has earned some respect
Re: Swiss-American nonfilers: IRS frustration

Quote:
View Post
If you plan on holding onto your US citizenship, then why don't you just file your taxes? You will not have to worry about being audited and you best of all you might be even eligible for a refund.
Just curious. How would you get a refund? If Swiss taxes are lower than US taxes, then you would have to pay the difference. If Swiss taxes are higher, then you would get nothing back from the US, no? Or maybe there is some arcane credit in the US tax system that I am not aware of. Anyway just curious.
Reply With Quote
  #74  
Old 08.04.2011, 19:24
Cbass's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Zurich
Posts: 130
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 149 Times in 71 Posts
Cbass is considered knowledgeableCbass is considered knowledgeableCbass is considered knowledgeable
Re: Swiss-American nonfilers: IRS frustration

Quote:
View Post
Just curious. How would you get a refund? If Swiss taxes are lower than US taxes, then you would have to pay the difference. If Swiss taxes are higher, then you would get nothing back from the US, no? Or maybe there is some arcane credit in the US tax system that I am not aware of. Anyway just curious.
I think and again I might be wrong, that the refund would only be possible if you have withholdings to the US from any source of income you receive. So for someone without any withholdings there would be no refund.
Reply With Quote
  #75  
Old 08.04.2011, 20:43
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
You can only get a refund if you've paid taxes through witholdings on US income. Or, you might readjust a prior year return for some reason. Otherwise the best news is that you owe the US nothing additional.
Reply With Quote
  #76  
Old 08.04.2011, 21:49
FCBarca's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: La Cte
Posts: 1,146
Groaned at 86 Times in 41 Posts
Thanked 1,132 Times in 535 Posts
FCBarca has a reputation beyond reputeFCBarca has a reputation beyond reputeFCBarca has a reputation beyond reputeFCBarca has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Swiss-American nonfilers: IRS frustration

Quote:
View Post
Just contacted the US embassy in Bern. There are so many Americans in Switzerland wanting to renounce citizenship that the next available appointment to do so is in August 2012. No joke.
I've been pondering this for a short while now that I am here...The one real danger with this scenario (I am also 2 years from becoming Suisse) is the 'right of return'...An Immigration attorney back in the US once mentioned to me that while it is not often enforced, the INS can actually prevent re-entry of former US citizens who have given up their citizenship (Presumably, for perceived reasons of evading taxes) regardless of travel documents
Reply With Quote
  #77  
Old 10.04.2011, 00:17
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Zrich
Posts: 117
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 62 Times in 38 Posts
Saulius has made some interesting contributions
Re: Swiss-American nonfilers: IRS frustration

Quote:
View Post
I've been pondering this for a short while now that I am here...The one real danger with this scenario (I am also 2 years from becoming Suisse) is the 'right of return'...An Immigration attorney back in the US once mentioned to me that while it is not often enforced, the INS can actually prevent re-entry of former US citizens who have given up their citizenship (Presumably, for perceived reasons of evading taxes) regardless of travel documents
from WSJ article: http://blogs.wsj.com/hong-kong/2011/...e-and-through/

Under whats known as the Reed Amendment provision of immigration reform, enacted in 1996, former citizens who expatriate primarily for tax avoidance purposes are barred from re-entry to the U.S. Lawyers say this rule has never been implemented or enforced but it keeps many mum on their reasons for expatriation.

And renouncing citizenship is not a safeguard against paying U.S. taxes in the future. Expatriates who give up citizenship are still liable to pay income tax for 10 years after renouncing citizenship if they spend more than 30 days a year in the U.S.
Reply With Quote
  #78  
Old 10.04.2011, 09:09
FCBarca's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: La Cte
Posts: 1,146
Groaned at 86 Times in 41 Posts
Thanked 1,132 Times in 535 Posts
FCBarca has a reputation beyond reputeFCBarca has a reputation beyond reputeFCBarca has a reputation beyond reputeFCBarca has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Swiss-American nonfilers: IRS frustration

Curious about this...I'm also eligible for a separate citizenship within Europe and was curious if I opened up a bank account in Suisse under this other citizenship, is there anyway to be pressed into paying taxes or sign the bank statement that these are my own personal assets?
Reply With Quote
  #79  
Old 10.04.2011, 09:57
LiquidPaper's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Basel
Posts: 400
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 311 Times in 131 Posts
LiquidPaper has earned the respect of manyLiquidPaper has earned the respect of manyLiquidPaper has earned the respect of many
Re: Swiss-American nonfilers: IRS frustration

Wow! I understand that people might be worried about IRS, especially if they never knew they had to file in the first place, but giving up the US citizenship is such a radical step. Of course I understand the reasoning behind it, but it's difficult to process on a gut level.

I guess if you grew up with two first-world citizenships (or acquired the second at some point), giving up one is no big deal. But for the likes of me, my daughter's US citizenship is a big plus, no matter that she has to file her taxes. A US citizenship still has the cachet that few can match, and I gladly signed the papers that allowed her to get that blue passport.

LiquidPaper (from the 2nd class non-EU contingent)
Reply With Quote
  #80  
Old 10.04.2011, 10:20
rrs rrs is offline
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Zuerich
Posts: 986
Groaned at 98 Times in 59 Posts
Thanked 348 Times in 226 Posts
rrs is considered unworthyrrs is considered unworthyrrs is considered unworthyrrs is considered unworthy
Re: Swiss-American nonfilers: IRS frustration

Quote:
View Post
Now lets say one does get caught by the IRS, can they do anything
if the person does not set foot on US soil, and has no property of value
in the US?
The treaties generally
provide that either party to the treaty will collect a "finally
determined tax" owed to the first country as if it were a tax owed in
the second country. So yes they can. Ignorance is not a defense either
Reply With Quote
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
US IRS bank account levy altehase Finance/banking/taxation 11 04.12.2009 17:55
Frustration - Visa Credit Card - language yupnya Language corner 6 29.10.2009 14:00
Grandpa and IRS Dervaish Jokes/funnies 0 04.09.2009 10:24
IRS Form? bwand8gv Finance/banking/taxation 3 06.03.2009 15:30
Trouser frustration........ cricketer Complaints corner 33 21.06.2007 20:33


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 06:40.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0