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Old 04.07.2010, 14:06
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Claiming US taxes paid in Switzerland

Hello!

I'm so confused by the entire tax system, regardless of country, and feel a bit overwhelmed when I start to think about it. I moved to Switzerland in August 2009 and started a job in February 2010. My employer takes a percentage of my salary out of my paycheck each month. As I have dual citizenship (US and Ireland) what are my responsibilities for filing taxes in the US and/or Ireland. I heard through the grapevine that I can claim the taxes that I have to pay in the US against my Swiss taxes. But since I am paying my takes as I go (thanks employer), how do I file my taxes here and in the US? DO I even need to file taxes here in Switzerland (Zurich area) even though I pay along the way? Might I be entitled to a (GASP!) refund? Must I file taxes in Ireland as well?

To throw another wrench in the works, I am getting married next month (in August 2010) to a Swiss. I assume my tax situation will change yet again. Oh boy...

Any help or advise would be greatly appreciated! Or, if you know of an tax person who specializes in international taxes (maybe a tax attorney?) I would be very interested in connecting with them.

Thank you!!!
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Old 04.07.2010, 14:37
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Re: Claiming US taxes paid in Switzerland

I use Tax Advisors & Associates AG on the Gartenstrasse 25 in 8002 Zürich.
www.taxadvisors.ch

Very helpful, friendly and speak fluent english.

In general, their fees are based on hours spent and depend on the complexity and the seniority of the involved tax advisor and vary between CHF 380 and CHF 525.
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Old 04.07.2010, 14:38
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Re: Claiming US taxes paid in Switzerland

The US is one of the few, if not only, country that demands it's citizens pay tay even when they do not live in the USA

Most other countries only levy a tax on you when you live there or earn money there (eg: if you own and rent out a house in a country that you do not live in, then the rental income is normally taxed by that countries tax authorities)

SO as a US and Irish citizen living and working in Switzerland I expect that:

a) you do not need to file a tax return or pay taxes in Ireland
b) You DO need to file a tax return in the USA
c) You DO need to file a tax return in Switzerland

If you are paying PAYE (tax at source, or Quellensteuer) in Switzerland, then normally a tax return is not required. However, as you are a US citizen, then get a tax consultant to ensure that your US and Swiss situations are properly handled, and that you avoid paying double tax as much as possible under the law.

Be aware that in Switzerland you must declare all global assets and income
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Old 04.07.2010, 15:02
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Re: Claiming US taxes paid in Switzerland

And if you are marrying soon, do discuss how US reporting requirements (FBAR) might affect your spouse, should you establish joint accounts.

I, too, would counsel getting professional US tax advice. It's a small price to pay to avoid what could become costly mistakes.
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Old 04.07.2010, 15:39
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Re: Claiming US taxes paid in Switzerland

Wow, guys - that's great advice! Thank you!!
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Old 04.07.2010, 15:44
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Re: Claiming US taxes paid in Switzerland

unless you are making over 91,000 USD per year, you will not owe the US anything, even when you do file.
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Old 04.07.2010, 20:30
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Re: Claiming US taxes paid in Switzerland

Quote:
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I use Tax Advisors & Associates AG on the Gartenstrasse 25 in 8002 Zürich.
www.taxadvisors.ch

Very helpful, friendly and speak fluent english.

In general, their fees are based on hours spent and depend on the complexity and the seniority of the involved tax advisor and vary between CHF 380 and CHF 525.
I've never used taxadvisors.ch myself, but I have consulted one of the founders in the past and always found his work to be very professional, so I expect his firm does a good job too.

Jim.
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Old 04.07.2010, 20:35
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Re: Claiming US taxes paid in Switzerland

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Must I file taxes in Ireland as well?
Assuming your only contact with Ireland is to visit from time to time, you should not need to file any tax returns in Ireland. Unless of course your world wide income is over €1m and you have Irish assets of €5m!

Unlike the US, the Irish government is only concerned about people who are actually living in the country when it comes to tax matters.

Jim.
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Old 04.07.2010, 21:01
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Re: Claiming US taxes paid in Switzerland

In a word, get an accountant. We use:

Deloitte, S.A.
Tax and Legal Services
Avenue De Montchoisi 15
Case Postale 460
1001, Lausanne
www.deloitte.ch

phone 021 343 24 24

We did not have to do one thing. Except write a check, of course!
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Old 04.07.2010, 22:27
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Re: Claiming US taxes paid in Switzerland

I too am a Irish/US dual-citizen and have lived and worked here in Switzerland for about 2.5 years (in Zurich). You are required to pay US taxes, but not Irish taxes (confirming the other responses posted). You do get credit for the tax paid to Switzerland, so in the end you will probably not owe to much to the US.

My first year here, I got a refund from the US for the 2 months I lived there. However, I would not have been able to do this without the help of a tax accountant that new the intricacies of the US/Swiss tax agreement (our tax return contained numerous citations to sections of the US/Swiss tax treaty).

We have been very happy with our accountant:

Clinton L. Emerson, CPA
Emerson & Partner U.S. Tax GmbH
Gerechtigkeitsgasse 31
CH-8001 Zürich, Switzerland
Tel. +41 44 212 51 31
Fax +41 44 212 51 41
U.S. Tel. +1 701 205 4454

Good luck -

Keith
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Old 04.07.2010, 22:27
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Re: Claiming US taxes paid in Switzerland

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....

To throw another wrench in the works, I am getting married next month (in August 2010) to a Swiss. I assume my tax situation will change yet again. Oh boy... !
After marriage, you file a joint Swiss tax return together with your husband. Because both incomes are then aggregated, your Swiss tax burden might increase.
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Old 04.07.2010, 22:29
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Re: Claiming US taxes paid in Switzerland

I too am a Irish/US dual-citizen and have lived and worked here in Switzerland for about 2.5 years (in Zurich). You are required to pay US taxes, but not Irish taxes (confirming the other responses posted). You do get credit for the tax paid to Switzerland, so in the end you will probably not owe to much to the US.

My first year here I got a refund from the US for the 2 months I lived there. However, I would not have been able to do this without the help of a tax accountant who knew the intricacies of the US/Swiss tax agreement (our tax return contained numerous citations to sections of the US/Swiss tax treaty).

We have been very happy with our accountant:

Clinton L. Emerson, CPA
Emerson & Partner U.S. Tax GmbH
Gerechtigkeitsgasse 31
CH-8001 Zürich, Switzerland
Tel. +41 44 212 51 31
Fax +41 44 212 51 41
U.S. Tel. +1 701 205 4454

Good luck -

Keith
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  #13  
Old 05.07.2010, 01:40
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Re: Claiming US taxes paid in Switzerland

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b) You DO need to file a tax return in the USA
I can't speak about your dual citizenship, but this is definitely true for your US portion (of citizenship). You must file, regardless of whether you owe anything. If you make less than $91,500 (as a previous poster said), and meet the requirements to classify as a US citizen living abroad, you qualify for the foreign earned income exclusion (see link).

http://taxes.about.com/od/taxhelp/a/ForeignIncome.htm

If you don't (and perhaps even if you do just for peace of mind), I would recommend an accountant.
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Old 23.01.2011, 22:33
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Re: Claiming US taxes paid in Switzerland

Quick question about your post from 2009, did you ever receive any help and who did you hire to file your taxes. I am new to Zurich and my tax situation seems very similar to yours, so I am hoping for any information that you might have received thru this forum.

thanks


I'm so confused by the entire tax system, regardless of country, and feel a bit overwhelmed when I start to think about it. I moved to Switzerland in August 2009 and started a job in February 2010. My employer takes a percentage of my salary out of my paycheck each month. As I have dual citizenship (US and Ireland) what are my responsibilities for filing taxes in the US and/or Ireland. I heard through the grapevine that I can claim the taxes that I have to pay in the US against my Swiss taxes. But since I am paying my takes as I go (thanks employer), how do I file my taxes here and in the US? DO I even need to file taxes here in Switzerland (Zurich area) even though I pay along the way? Might I be entitled to a (GASP!) refund? Must I file taxes in Ireland as well?

To throw another wrench in the works, I am getting married next month (in August 2010) to a Swiss. I assume my tax situation will change yet again. Oh boy...

Any help or advise would be greatly appreciated! Or, if you know of an tax person who specializes in international taxes (maybe a tax attorney?) I would be very interested in connecting with them.

Thank you!!![/QUOTE]
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Old 25.01.2011, 22:02
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Re: Claiming US taxes paid in Switzerland

I highly recommend AIT Services
The work is truly expert and the fees are very resonable:
Tell I sent you and she'll treat you right...
American Income Tax (AIT) Services
Rebecca Heid
Kuttelgasse 2
4310 Rheinfelden
Tel: 41 61 483 70 47
aitservices@hotmail.com
www.americanincometax.com
Professional U.S. income tax services for American citizens residing in Switzerland and Germany. Competitive fees guaranteed!
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