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Old 15.02.2019, 13:29
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Hi! Considering a position in Switzerland

Hi all,

I'm a Brit currently working in Germany. I'm considering accepting an offer in Switzerland, but I'm unsure of the best permit to request.

I can't move out of my German rental place until August without having to pay off my contract, so was thinking that perhaps start with a G-permit and just airbnb for a few months, and stay back in Germany at the weekends.

Apparently there are German tax breaks for "second work homes" for situations where you need a second residence for work purposes only, but I don't know if renting a small place in Zurich would qualify because it's not in Germany, plus I don't know if the German tax office would see me having a rental residence in Germany as proof of it being the centre of my world.


I did wonder if another possibility was to have a B permit, be based in Zurich as a main residence, and just make regular visits back to Germany just to get some value out the rent that I have to pay there until August.


If I accept the new job, I'd be starting in March, so that still leaves 5 months or so of rent to pay to my German landlord.


As a P.S., I did register with a different name on this forum, but it seems my iCloud account won't receive any registration mail from this forum so I couldn't complete the sign-up process and so cannot post under it, so had to choose another name with a different email address
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Old 15.02.2019, 13:33
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Re: Hi! Considering a position in Switzerland

Better be quick, you´ll be considered non EU after Brexit with all the issues that come with that (limited amount of permits)
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Old 15.02.2019, 13:51
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Re: Hi! Considering a position in Switzerland

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Better be quick, you´ll be considered non EU after Brexit with all the issues that come with that (limited amount of permits)
Not according to The Local. Brits will have their own ringfenced permit quota.

https://www.thelocal.ch/20190213/swi...no-deal-brexit

OP on German tax matters you are more likely to get good advice locally than asking here. Be aware that competition for small cheap places in Zurich is fierce. It may be easier said than done to find what you are looking for.
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Old 15.02.2019, 13:55
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Re: Hi! Considering a position in Switzerland

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Not according to The Local. Brits will have their own ringfenced permit quota.
Yes, but still limited
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Old 15.02.2019, 13:59
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Re: Hi! Considering a position in Switzerland

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Better be quick, you´ll be considered non EU after Brexit with all the issues that come with that (limited amount of permits)
He’ll be considered non-EU if there is a no-deal outcome. Otherwise he’s fine until the end of the transition period.
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Old 15.02.2019, 14:22
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Re: Hi! Considering a position in Switzerland

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I can't move out of my German rental place until August without having to pay off my contract
Can you not advertise to get someone to take over your contract? I don't know if that's possible where you are based.
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I don't know if the German tax office would see me having a rental residence in Germany as proof of it being the centre of my world.
Yes they would.
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I did wonder if another possibility was to have a B permit, be based in Zurich as a main residence
This may mean lower taxes, but renting will be a lot more expensive.
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Old 15.02.2019, 16:42
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Re: Hi! Considering a position in Switzerland

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Can you not advertise to get someone to take over your contract? I don't know if that's possible where you are based.
It probably is.

By default you seem to need what's called a "Nachmieterklausel" in the rental contract. However, needing to move due to job change is one of the exceptions where you can get out without such a clause. Suitability of the Nachmieter is required, which essentially means he must be able to afford the rent.

OP, this is a Swiss forum (I wouldn't bet a used chewing gum on the accuracy of what I've written above). For stuff on Germany you're more likely to get correct information on EF's sister forum toytowngermany.com, or better yet contact mieterbund.de, the German renter's association.
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Old 15.02.2019, 16:58
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Re: Hi! Considering a position in Switzerland

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Apparently there are German tax breaks for "second work homes" for situations where you need a second residence for work purposes only, but I don't know if renting a small place in Zurich would qualify because it's not in Germany, plus I don't know if the German tax office would see me having a rental residence in Germany as proof of it being the centre of my world.


I
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Yes they would.T
Beliebe me, the German tax authorities will look deeply into this as they are very reluctant to allow structures like that, especially if you are single (no idea if you are). Apart from that, having this tax benefit only works if you continue to pay taxes in Germany and that is what you wanted to avoid?

As Urs said, get some advice in Germany
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Old 15.02.2019, 17:14
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Re: Hi! Considering a position in Switzerland

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Beliebe me, the German tax authorities will look deeply into this as they are very reluctant to allow structures like that, especially if you are single (no idea if you are). Apart from that, having this tax benefit only works if you continue to pay taxes in Germany and that is what you wanted to avoid?
When I said yes they would I was merely referring to the fact that they would easily consider the centre of life (and thus the tax residence) as being in Germany. That isn't the problem.
Whether an actual tax break is granted is another matter, which I personally can't see as being easy to get either.
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Old 15.02.2019, 20:56
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Re: Hi! Considering a position in Switzerland

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I did wonder if another possibility was to have a B permit, be based in Zurich as a main residence, and just make regular visits back to Germany just to get some value out the rent that I have to pay there until August.
Can't you get away from the contract by finding someone willing to take it over? also, can't you sub-let it, even as airbnb, in case you can't break the contract early?
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Old 15.02.2019, 21:24
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Re: Hi! Considering a position in Switzerland

Thank you for the responses. When I was looking in to permits, I did think that having a G-permit, keeping the current place for a bit, and claiming the cost of the work residence back would be the way to go, but there is not only the issue of proving to the German tax office that my life is based in Germany and I'm only working in Switzerland, but on top of that without the withdrawal agreement there isn't anything protecting cross-border workers post-Brexit so I don't know if I would find post-Brexit that my application to remain in Germany was rejected because I had been transferred to Switzerland by my employer.

My current rental contract says I cannot sublet out, and that any dependents that wish to move in will need the permission of the landlord.

Because of Brexit, I guess at least with a B-permit I know I am good in Switzerland for five years.

As Toytown has been mentioned, when I asked on there I was directed to this forum :P I will have discussions with a local tax adviser and see what is said - as I'm not married and moved to this area for work, it will probably be very difficult to convince the tax office that I qualify for the rent rebate on the 2nd home.
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Old 15.02.2019, 23:36
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Re: Hi! Considering a position in Switzerland

Worst case is that if Brexit results in you becoming a non EU then as a non EU you are living too far from the border in Frankfurt to qualify for a G permît; as an EU citizen distance from the border does not matter.
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Old 16.02.2019, 16:55
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Worst case is that if Brexit results in you becoming a non EU then as a non EU you are living too far from the border in Frankfurt to qualify for a G permît; as an EU citizen distance from the border does not matter.
Under that situation, could I just swap the G for a B, or is it a lot more complicated than that?

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having this tax benefit only works if you continue to pay taxes in Germany and that is what you wanted to avoid?
I don't have any issue paying tax in Germany if I am spending sufficient time there.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 16.02.2019 at 20:14. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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Old 16.02.2019, 17:38
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Re: Hi! Considering a position in Switzerland

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Under that situation, could I just swap the G for a B, or is it a lot more complicated than that?
The permit B would mean you are resident and tax resident in Switzerland and the fact that you have a flat or not in Germany would become irrelevant and not be relevant to the Swiss side of things.
Presumably you would deregister from Germany as well, losing your German/EU residence. You would no longer pay tax in Germany as a non-resident.
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Old 16.02.2019, 21:43
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Re: Hi! Considering a position in Switzerland

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The permit B would mean you are resident and tax resident in Switzerland and the fact that you have a flat or not in Germany would become irrelevant and not be relevant to the Swiss side of things.
Presumably you would deregister from Germany as well, losing your German/EU residence. You would no longer pay tax in Germany as a non-resident.
And if I didn't de-register, I guess it's then a case of two sets of tax returns?
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Old 16.02.2019, 22:50
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Re: Hi! Considering a position in Switzerland

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And if I didn't de-register, I guess it's then a case of two sets of tax returns?
If you don't deregister in Germany you'll be resident in both countries. But then why would you tell the Germans that you are working in CH and paying tax there? Best to just be on zero income in Germany for the Germans. Unless you want to hang on to German (EU) residence for a specific reason, like it being harder to obtain again later on if you need it post-Brexit, then I don't see any benefit, just hassle.
For example if you're resident in both countries simultaneously, you'll be liable to pay health insurance in both too, which is pointless and expensive.
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Old 17.02.2019, 00:05
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Re: Hi! Considering a position in Switzerland

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For example if you're resident in both countries simultaneously, you'll be liable to pay health insurance in both too, which is pointless and expensive.
Nope, nobody asks about health insurance in Germany. It is not a requirement with "forced" insurance if you do not show your insurance after 3 months as it is here

Last edited by 3Wishes; 17.02.2019 at 17:17. Reason: fixed quote; please take care not to change/remove HTML tags when quoting
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Old 17.02.2019, 08:05
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Re: Hi! Considering a position in Switzerland

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nobody asks about health insurance in Germany. It is not a requirement with "forced" insurance if you do not show your insurance after 3 months as it is here
But presumably they already have it as they are already living and working there. The question is can it be simply cancelled?
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Old 17.02.2019, 10:38
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Re: Hi! Considering a position in Switzerland

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He’ll be considered non-EU if there is a no-deal outcome. Otherwise he’s fine until the end of the transition period.
Really, would you want to trust your future on that bunch? Better safe than sorry, me thinks.
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Old 17.02.2019, 10:47
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Re: Hi! Considering a position in Switzerland

Move to Switzerland. The difference in tax might even offset the rent of the place in Germany.
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