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Old 29.01.2020, 17:41
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Working for Swiss company remotely (from Spain) on a Swiss contract? What permit?

Hello everyone,

PLEASE HELP, the future of my job and my relationship are on the line!!

I've been trying to figure out this but so far no luck:

I am a spaniard currently employed by a Swiss company, based in Lausanne (Vaud) and living in the canton. I've been here for 4 years now. However, I have negotiated with the company to work fully remotely so I can relocate back to Spain or potentially Germany where my boyfriend lives in case he can't move to Spain, while keeping the job in Switzerland.

The company is open to this but they have no experience with such practice and we are a small startup so we don't have much legal support. They're trying to study the case but things are moving veeery slowly and I want to make this happen to avoid a change of heart, so I want to support them with these questions.

Questions:
1. Is it possible to do this? I would assume it is since most technology companies with commercial activties abroad will have remote teams (sales, field support) on different countries, so I guess it MUST be possible.

2. If possible, can it be done under a Swiss contract? The company is open to offer me this possibility but they don't want to open pandora's box. If other people in the company apply for this after me, and each person needs a different kind of contract depending on the country they are living in and subject to different local laws, it will be a dealbreaker.

3. If all of the above are possible, what is the required residency/job permit? Is a residency permit needed at all? Meaning: can the residency permit be separated from the work permit so that I don't need to apply for L/B/G/C permit and therefore not need an address in Switzerland nor a commitment to spend more than 50% of the days in the country? Even if I still pay my taxes in Switzerland at source.

Thank you sooo much in advance for your help! This is driving me nuts!

Cheers,
Coppelia
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Old 29.01.2020, 18:06
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Re: Working for Swiss company remotely (from Spain) on a Swiss contract? What permit?

1 & 3:

You will live and work in Spain, so forget everything about whatever Swiss permit since you will have none nor will you need one.

Also you will pay taxes in Spain according to Spanish tariffs.

2: I have no clue if Spain allows a Swiss contract and up to what level Spanish labour laws have to be respected.

We once had a situation like you (different countries) and decided it be most simply for everybody to just set-up a company yourself and have the company you work for just pay the monthly bill you hand them and you sort out and pay everything in Spain yourself.
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Old 29.01.2020, 18:20
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Re: Working for Swiss company remotely (from Spain) on a Swiss contract? What permit?

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no clue if Spain allows a Swiss contract
This is entirely possible.
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Old 29.01.2020, 18:32
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Re: Working for Swiss company remotely (from Spain) on a Swiss contract? What permit?

The question is how to keep a swiss work permit without a swiss residency permit? As far as I know they are the same document.

And what procedures should I follow? Simply announce my departure and that's it? I fear I will lose the right to have an employment contract.
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Old 29.01.2020, 18:36
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Re: Working for Swiss company remotely (from Spain) on a Swiss contract? What permit?

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The question is how to keep a swiss work permit without a swiss residency permit? As far as I know they are the same document.

And what procedures should I follow? Simply announce my departure and that's it? I fear I will lose the right to have an employment contract.
Quote:
You will live and work in Spain, so forget everything about whatever Swiss permit since you will have none nor will you need one.
Once you leave, there's no need for a Swiss permit, simple.
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Old 29.01.2020, 18:51
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Re: Working for Swiss company remotely (from Spain) on a Swiss contract? What permit?

1. Is it possible to do this? It's routine. I have a subcontractor in France and other in Sweden. I think the work in Spain is "autónomos". They send their invoices for their work we pay. There's a contract but it's a freelancer contract, not a employment one. They don't need any document from Switzerland, all I need to pay them is a VAT identification and IBAN numbers.

2. If possible, can it be done under a Swiss contract? I guess it's possible but I'm not sure if the Swiss company with a permanent employee in Spain is liable to pay taxes there. What does the Spain tax law says? I think the worst case for your employer is to be liable for social contributions (unemployment, retirement, etc) in both countries.

3. If all of the above are possible, what is the required residency/job permit? Is a residency permit needed at all? If you're not working or living in Switzerland, no permit is needed at all.
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Old 29.01.2020, 18:55
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Re: Working for Swiss company remotely (from Spain) on a Swiss contract? What permit?

You don’t need a Swiss permit as you’re not going to be living or working in Switzerland! Simples
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Old 29.01.2020, 19:05
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Re: Working for Swiss company remotely (from Spain) on a Swiss contract? What permit?

Not so simple because I will still have a swiss contract. I cannot be hired as a freelancer nor with a local Spanish or German contract, it was to be the Swiss one and ideally exactly like the one I have now. If the tax retention varies from country to country of residence, my company will find this too complex and will never implement it. Ideally I would like to pay my usual taxes in Switzerland (retained), and then personally and separately pay my taxes in Spain subject to the bilateral agreements.
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Old 29.01.2020, 19:27
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Re: Working for Swiss company remotely (from Spain) on a Swiss contract? What permit?

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Not so simple because I will still have a swiss contract. I cannot be hired as a freelancer nor with a local Spanish or German contract, it was to be the Swiss one and ideally exactly like the one I have now. If the tax retention varies from country to country of residence, my company will find this too complex and will never implement it. Ideally I would like to pay my usual taxes in Switzerland (retained), and then personally and separately pay my taxes in Spain subject to the bilateral agreements.
Another option to keep the residence in Switzerland is to keep renting in Vaud and live more than 180+ days per year in Vaud.

If you fulfill the 180+ days per year requirement, nothing has to be done, the contract stays the same and Spain cannot claim any kind of tax.
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Old 29.01.2020, 19:29
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Re: Working for Swiss company remotely (from Spain) on a Swiss contract? What permit?

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Not so simple because I will still have a swiss contract.
Yes it is that simple.

If you really do not want to believe us than don't ask us.

As for your post:

1: You will pay not taxes in Switzerland since you do not work or live here. (last time I said it, next time I'll tell you that they have a special tariff for these situations of 45%, believe what you want.
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Old 29.01.2020, 20:08
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Re: Working for Swiss company remotely (from Spain) on a Swiss contract? What permit?

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Not so simple because I will still have a swiss contract. I cannot be hired as a freelancer nor with a local Spanish or German contract, it was to be the Swiss one and ideally exactly like the one I have now. If the tax retention varies from country to country of residence, my company will find this too complex and will never implement it. Ideally I would like to pay my usual taxes in Switzerland (retained), and then personally and separately pay my taxes in Spain subject to the bilateral agreements.
Nothing will change; you'll still be an employee of the company - just not based here. Stop stressing, it's not as complicated as you seem to think.

All taxes will be paid in Spain, since you'll no longer be in Switzerland, as EdwinNL said.

I'd get your company to talk to the cantonal employment and tax offices to make sure what they need to do in terms of paperwork.
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Old 29.01.2020, 20:18
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Quote:
Yes it is that simple.

If you really do not want to believe us than don't ask us.

As for your post:

1: You will pay not taxes in Switzerland since you do not work or live here. (last time I said it, next time I'll tell you that they have a special tariff for these situations of 45%, believe what you want.
Relax, you are not the only person who replied, and some others have mentioned you might have to pay taxes in both countries.

Thanks for the info anyway, it is very helpful, no need to be aggressive.

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Nothing will change; you'll still be an employee of the company - just not based here. Stop stressing, it's not as complicated as you seem to think.

All taxes will be paid in Spain, since you'll no longer be in Switzerland, as EdwinNL said.

I'd get your company to talk to the cantonal employment and tax offices to make sure what they need to do in terms of paperwork.
I'm not stressing, the company told me they had done some research and they said it was not that easy so I'm trying to understand why they behave doubts. As for "the company will get in touch with the canton" I am the person in the company who has to get in touch with them

Thanks!

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Another option to keep the residence in Switzerland is to keep renting in Vaud and live more than 180+ days per year in Vaud.

If you fulfill the 180+ days per year requirement, nothing has to be done, the contract stays the same and Spain cannot claim any kind of tax.
Unfortunately not an option, I will leave most of the year abroad.

Last edited by roegner; 29.01.2020 at 20:29. Reason: Merging consecutive posts
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Old 29.01.2020, 20:32
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Re: Working for Swiss company remotely (from Spain) on a Swiss contract? What permit?

Tax wise, I assume your employer will pay you your gross pay, and then you will be responsible for filing a tax return in Spain and paying your taxes etc. You could probably check this with the Spanish tax authorities.
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Old 29.01.2020, 20:44
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Re: Working for Swiss company remotely (from Spain) on a Swiss contract? What permit?

You have no business with the canton, nor will the canton be involved in this.

Two choices:

1. Set up your own company in Spain, send invoices to Switzerland and pay your own contributions and such.

2. Become an employee.

You will fall under Spanish law regarding everything related to social security and your company will have to pay these contributions to Spain, they do this by requesting a social security contribution account number at the involved Spanish administration so they can register their company in Spain and register you as an employee.

Option 1 is for the Swiss company incredible simple, just give you once a month your money, don't care if you are ill or whatever and be done with it.

Option 2 sucks for your company since they need to do a lot of paperwork, need to know Spanish law and give you special treatment as for their bookkeeping. A lot of companies will refuse to do such and simple tell you to either set up your business or find another job.

There are other routes with trusts and such but I don't see those as a real solution for you.
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Old 29.01.2020, 20:45
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Re: Working for Swiss company remotely (from Spain) on a Swiss contract? What permit?

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Tax wise, I assume your employer will pay you your gross pay, and then you will be responsible for filing a tax return in Spain and paying your taxes etc. You could probably check this with the Spanish tax authorities.
The company has to pay his social security stuff and such directly to Spain. Works the same in each EU country.
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Old 29.01.2020, 20:51
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Re: Working for Swiss company remotely (from Spain) on a Swiss contract? What permit?

If you pull the whole thing as planned, bravo.

But there might be unintended consequences, once you have showed the company the way to pay an employee in Spain without much trouble....why should they keep paying you a Swiss salary and not find someone else in Spain to do it for half the price? There's no such thing as loyalty when money is involved.
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Old 29.01.2020, 21:01
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Re: Working for Swiss company remotely (from Spain) on a Swiss contract? What permit?

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If you pull the whole thing as planned, bravo.

But there might be unintended consequences, once you have showed the company the way to pay an employee in Spain without much trouble....why should they keep paying you a Swiss salary and not find someone else in Spain to do it for half the price? There's no such thing as loyalty when money is involved.
I have complete loyalty to my company and my company has complete loyalty to me (mea Ning: they will always be honest and not play around for money).

They have agreed to let me setup the entire remote work system, also in terms of equipment and training for all the company, and even keep my team while living abroad. They were even offering to pay me the extra costs of traveling back and forth when there is a meeting (I refused and asked to pay this from my pocket as they are already doing a great effort).

They let me do this because I work my as off and I'm doing a ing great job so they don't care from where or how, also they have fixed salary levels to avoid these kinds of tricks, and also because they have strived since the foundation of the company to be the perfect workplace, successfully I must say. Business might go sour or whatever, but in terms of their honesty I trust them like my own family, based on experience, not in faith. Yes, these places exist.
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Old 30.01.2020, 08:33
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Re: Working for Swiss company remotely (from Spain) on a Swiss contract? What permit?

1. No tax or social contributions due in Switzerland.
2. Your company pays your salary + what they'd pay in employer social contributions
3. You pay tax, employer and employee social contributions in Spain.

How point 3 works varies from countries to country. I've no idea how it works in Spain, or even if it's possible (I'd be surprised if it isn't), but this is what you would do in other EU countries.

You should check if your pension fund can still be paid into. If so, continue doing so and your employer should continue making their contributions. If not, you should be paid the contribution your employer would have paid.

I am not an international tax/employment lawyer, just experience of dealing with these questions.
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Old 30.01.2020, 09:11
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Re: Working for Swiss company remotely (from Spain) on a Swiss contract? What permit?

Thanks, indeed I need to figure out what is the procedure to change the contributions (stop paying them) and to pay them in the residence country. If you are familiar with this, do you have any contacts (advisors, lawyers that are not brutally expensive) that I can call for this? The canton has refused to pick up the phone for days.
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Old 30.01.2020, 10:52
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Re: Working for Swiss company remotely (from Spain) on a Swiss contract? What permit?

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Thanks, indeed I need to figure out what is the procedure to change the contributions (stop paying them) and to pay them in the residence country. If you are familiar with this, do you have any contacts (advisors, lawyers that are not brutally expensive) that I can call for this? The canton has refused to pick up the phone for days.
I told you in #14 how it works.

Also you don't have to figure out how to stop paying here, the moment you start living and working in Spain and have deregistered from Switzerland all of that stops automatically.

Just take up contant with the agency that collects social contributions of the place/area where you plan to live, they will give you exact instructions to follow.
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