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Old 14.09.2020, 12:29
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WFH in London

I wonder if anyone can let me know the consequences if I work from home in London instead of Zurich, at the moment everyone in my office works from home, many are moving away to live nearer their families outside of Zurich in other Cantons, so am wondering if I can do the same, I worked for a few months now in my Zuirch tiny apartment, its depressing, while I have a lot of family/friends and larger space / garden in London.

Anyone knows the implications if I did this while still on a Swiss contract? I tried to call the Gemeinde but they seem not to answer the phones.
From tax point of view, I understand I would need to make up for the taxes here in the UK ( so whatever I pay in Switzerland, then pay in the UK the extra that is required) from a permit point of view, would I lose my B permit?
Can one have an address and keep the permit while out of the country?
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Old 14.09.2020, 12:48
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Re: WFH in London

Tax-wise, generally you're taxed (income and social security) where the work is done so it probably isn't so simple as paying the difference. Some people simply do it without telling either the WFH country nor Switzerland but it's not something I'd recommend.
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Old 14.09.2020, 13:25
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Re: WFH in London

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Tax-wise, generally you're taxed (income and social security) where the work is done so it probably isn't so simple as paying the difference. Some people simply do it without telling either the WFH country nor Switzerland but it's not something I'd recommend.
Yes I agree, I want to do it cleanly and properly, can't have this hanging over my head ...
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  #4  
Old 14.09.2020, 13:28
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Re: WFH in London

It depends on how long it will be. Tomorrow I'm going to the NL for a couple of weeks and will work from home at my GF's place. No way am I going to get the authorities involved in working out what tax I might have to pay there.

If you're going for 6 months or so that'll be different, but I imagine it will involve de-registering as well. If your company is happy for you to work at home in the UK I would just do it and pop back for a few days once a month.
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Old 14.09.2020, 13:30
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Re: WFH in London

avoid 183 midnights in the UK and have evidence to prove that you were there less than that.

I do believe that should work with the centre of your life being in Zürich given your job is here and it should return to normal in late 2021. The new normal but normal.
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Old 14.09.2020, 13:34
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Re: WFH in London

I think the points in this thread are relevant (at least while UK is still EU).

https://www.englishforum.ch/permits-...king-home.html
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Old 14.09.2020, 13:44
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Re: WFH in London

Check your employment contract doesn't specify you have to work from Switzerland.

This can be the case for employees wth access to financial systems or sensitive data etc.
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Old 14.09.2020, 13:59
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Re: WFH in London

my Employer do not care where I am working from to be honest, but am asking from a legal point of view ( Tax/Residency) if I stay on a Swiss contract, what would be the implication, and if I have to move to a UK contract to be able to be in the UK more than the 183 days

This year I already spent around 4.5 months in the UK, and I still have about 1.5 months out.

I am in the middle of also moving apartments in Zurich, and would like to withdraw from that contract ( prior to moving in) I understand I will have liabilities.. am checking legally what are the liabilities
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Old 14.09.2020, 14:32
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Re: WFH in London

No apartment = no residency. You might think you can then register at a friend's place but this will end badly if the authorities find out. It seems you will step towards the border of tax avoidance/compliance and towards evasion.

are you taxed at source?
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Old 14.09.2020, 14:33
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Re: WFH in London

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It depends on how long it will be. Tomorrow I'm going to the NL for a couple of weeks and will work from home at my GF's place. No way am I going to get the authorities involved in working out what tax I might have to pay there.

If you're going for 6 months or so that'll be different, but I imagine it will involve de-registering as well. If your company is happy for you to work at home in the UK I would just do it and pop back for a few days once a month.
I can just see the Viadukt faithful at your doorstep in NL
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Old 14.09.2020, 15:18
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Re: WFH in London

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I can just see the Viadukt faithful at your doorstep in NL
I might be bringing some Dutch curds back with me!
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Old 14.09.2020, 15:19
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Re: WFH in London

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No apartment = no residency. You might think you can then register at a friend's place but this will end badly if the authorities find out. It seems you will step towards the border of tax avoidance/compliance and towards evasion.

are you taxed at source?
As above I said I want to do this cleanly, no address, no apartment, no residency required if I work from UK
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Old 14.09.2020, 16:31
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Re: WFH in London

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my Employer do not care where I am working from to be honest,
Have you actually checked that with them? Just asking because my OH cannot work from home outside of Switzerland due to data privacy laws.

Regarding residency, only the Gemeinde or perhaps Migrationsamt can give you an answer that's worth staking your B permit on, and I'd be innclined to get something in writing from them.
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Old 14.09.2020, 16:44
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Re: WFH in London

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As above I said I want to do this cleanly, no address, no apartment, no residency required if I work from UK
Surely this isn't legal?

I thought you had to either i) live in Switzerland, or ii) be a registered cross-border commuter, and if the latter you have to work in the office 75% of the time (post-Covid).

If you work in the UK full-time you surely need a UK contract?

I guess potentially you could have Swiss residency and legitimately spend up to half the year in the UK? But 12 months a year? No I don't think so.

Maybe you could buy a cheapskate rustico in the middle of nowhere for next to nothing, live there in summer for 6 months and live in London for the other 6? If you were going to do this, make sure you've got documentary evidence that you are spending >50% of your nights in CH.

Personally I don't understand why you'd ever want to live in London if you could live here.

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Old 14.09.2020, 17:07
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Re: WFH in London

I'm not sure where you're thinking the 183 days/midnights in the UK come in. If you have working days (not midnights) over a certain amount, you'll become UK tax resident from that. It's certainly less than 183 days. Technically many workers have already become tax resident in their non-Swiss WFH country because of the number of working days. I believe there's a general dispensation for the corona situation but it probably won't go on forever.



You can/should lose your permit if you're out of Switzerland for 6 months or more although it's uncertain whether that's continuous or not. You might be able to put it on hold but that could only be for C permit holders.


I suppose you probably can't be on the existing Swiss contract but if your company has offices in the UK they could second you to there. Alternitively you're probably looking at working through a different UK company either your own or another with a company to company contract.
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Old 14.09.2020, 17:15
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Re: WFH in London

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I'm not sure where you're thinking the 183 days/midnights in the UK come in. If you have working days (not midnights) over a certain amount, you'll become UK tax resident from that. It's certainly less than 183 days. Technically many workers have already become tax resident in their non-Swiss WFH country because of the number of working days. I believe there's a general dispensation for the corona situation but it probably won't go on forever.



You can/should lose your permit if you're out of Switzerland for 6 months or more although it's uncertain whether that's continuous or not. You might be able to put it on hold but that could only be for C permit holders.


I suppose you probably can't be on the existing Swiss contract but if your company has offices in the UK they could second you to there. Alternitively you're probably looking at working through a different UK company either your own or another with a company to company contract.
From UK Gov Website:


You’re automatically resident if either:

you spent 183 or more days in the UK in the tax year
your only home was in the UK - you must have owned, rented or lived in it for at least 91 days in total - and you spent at least 30 days there in the tax year



You’re automatically non-resident if either:

you spent fewer than 16 days in the UK (or 46 days if you have not been classed as UK resident for the 3 previous tax years)
you work abroad full-time (averaging at least 35 hours a week) and spent fewer than 91 days in the UK, of which no more than 30 were spent working


Seems that if he spent 91 to 182 days in the UK, working most of them, and maintained a Swiss address he would neither fall under the automatically resident nor under the automatically non-resident. So complicated basically.
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Old 14.09.2020, 17:21
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Re: WFH in London

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I'm not sure where you're thinking the 183 days/midnights in the UK come in.
The midnight rule is an age-old thing, read more here. My accountant was very clear about this when I left the country many years ago.

pwc lays it out pretty well there too.
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Old 14.09.2020, 17:47
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Re: WFH in London

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Surely this isn't legal?

I thought you had to either i) live in Switzerland, or ii) be a registered cross-border commuter, and if the latter you have to work in the office 75% of the time (post-Covid).

If you work in the UK full-time you surely need a UK contract?

I guess potentially you could have Swiss residency and legitimately spend up to half the year in the UK? But 12 months a year? No I don't think so.

Maybe you could buy a cheapskate rustico in the middle of nowhere for next to nothing, live there in summer for 6 months and live in London for the other 6? If you were going to do this, make sure you've got documentary evidence that you are spending >50% of your nights in CH.

Personally I don't understand why you'd ever want to live in London if you could live here.
What's not legal?? I said no residency would be required as I will be out of the country and I don't need their residency ( i.e I wont be a Swiss resident) how is not being a Swiss resident illegal?
but 6 months here 6 months in the UK, is actually what I have been doing so far ... but it means paying for two place, plus very high costs of living here and flying often, in addition to all all the cumbersome Swiss bureaucracy, plus health insurance... I think to be honest I am better off just paying the extra tax in the UK... at the end this cleanly.
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Old 14.09.2020, 17:51
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Re: WFH in London

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From UK Gov Website:


You’re automatically resident if either:

you spent 183 or more days in the UK in the tax year
your only home was in the UK - you must have owned, rented or lived in it for at least 91 days in total - and you spent at least 30 days there in the tax year



You’re automatically non-resident if either:

you spent fewer than 16 days in the UK (or 46 days if you have not been classed as UK resident for the 3 previous tax years)
you work abroad full-time (averaging at least 35 hours a week) and spent fewer than 91 days in the UK, of which no more than 30 were spent working


Seems that if he spent 91 to 182 days in the UK, working most of them, and maintained a Swiss address he would neither fall under the automatically resident nor under the automatically non-resident. So complicated basically.
The above in read is about automatic resident/non resident, just because you are not automatically resident/non resident, then it doesn't mean you are not resident, it means you are in grey area, and if HMRC decide to challenge then you need to prove you are /are not a resident... anyway... my wish is actually not to be in the gray area and just move back to UK.
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Old 14.09.2020, 18:37
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Re: WFH in London

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What's not legal?? I said no residency would be required as I will be out of the country and I don't need their residency ( i.e I wont be a Swiss resident) how is not being a Swiss resident illegal?
but 6 months here 6 months in the UK, is actually what I have been doing so far ... but it means paying for two place, plus very high costs of living here and flying often, in addition to all all the cumbersome Swiss bureaucracy, plus health insurance... I think to be honest I am better off just paying the extra tax in the UK... at the end this cleanly.
As a non-Swiss national it is illegal to work in Switzerland (i.e. be an employee of a legal entity based in Switzerland) without a valid permit (be it an L, B or C if living in Switzerland or a G permit if living abroad).

The condition of obtaining a cross-border commuter G permit is to return to your domicile (UK in this case) at least once a week (daily for bordering countries).

There is no tax or health insurance treaty for cross-border commuters from the UK like there is for those based in Germany/France/Italy/Austria so you would be taxed at source by your employer (in Switzerland) and would have to pay for Swiss KVG (likely on top of any UK tax given you would be resident there as well). Double tax treaty would mean you would need to top up the difference in tax payable to HMRC.

Once the UK leaves the EU the option explained above will not even be possible. To be a Swiss cross-border commuter as a non-EU you would have to have permanent residency in a Swiss bordering country and have lived in a non-Swiss bordering town for at least 6 months to be granted a non-EU G permit.
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