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Old 10.01.2021, 01:35
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Part-time employment whilst retaining residency?

My question is how best to reduce both my own and my self-employed GmbH's monthly outgoing payments for Withholding-Tax / AHV / BVG / UVG by possibly lowering my full-time workload to part-time, WITHOUT ENDANGERING MY B-PERMIT.

I very recently set up my own GmbH, then 'employed' myself via it as sole employee, and thus gained a 5yr EU/EFTA (Employment) B-Permit.

I am still in the process of setting-up, and so have not yet begun to engage clients or receive any income, much less turn a profit.
Although as I am registered as an employee with the AHV / BVG / UVG, my company (i.e. I) pay monthly outgoings as employer amounting to approx CHF 1,500.
And of course on top of this I 'personally' pay employee withholding tax of a good few-hundred!

With the Coronavirus lockdown suppressing my business development I am currently just sitting burning money.
I understand it may be possible to significantly reduce these outgoings by temporarily changing my employed full-time status to part-time, and thus lower my declared earnings?
I have heard I can still remain 'employed' (in the eyes of the immigration authorities) if I have a 50% contract? From my rough calculations this should lower the outgoings by substantially more than 50%.

However retaining my Swiss residency is paramount to me.
What danger is there that in so-doing I may lose my permit by being considered 'underemployed'?

And/but if this 50% is 'acceptable', why not instead reduce to 25%, or 10%, or 1% ?!... Where does the threshold lie?
Might my status at year-end tax-time be the crucial factor?

(I stress this is intended as just a temporary measure. That when the pandemic abates and my preparations are complete -- hopefully before years-end -- I plan to return to normal operation as a company/employee.)
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Old 10.01.2021, 10:57
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Re: Part-time employment whilst retaining residency?

Normally you need above 50% to get a permit, but obviously it depends on your hourly wage too... they want you to earn enough to support yourself. Can your business apply for Kurzarbeit for you? Or can you get a second job temporarily?
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Old 10.01.2021, 13:53
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Re: Part-time employment whilst retaining residency?

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What danger is there that in so-doing I may lose my permit by being considered 'underemployed'?
There is a basic requirement for permanent resident status, that you have established economic viability. A part time job in a one man company is probably not going to do it.

Any chance you could find a job and do the self employed stuff on the side for the moment?
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Old 10.01.2021, 16:40
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Re: Part-time employment whilst retaining residency?

I appreciate all your information and advice.

Yes I understand significant threshold earnings are required to get a permit.
But I have already got it. Are they required to keep it is more my enquiry?

(From my brief investigation of Kurzarbeit I do not think I would be eligible, being a sole proprietorship and "employed in a function similar to that of an employer". Nor would I want to apply for such assistance.)

I have no problems supporting myself -- for me income is not an issue. Luckily I have substantial savings to cover all living expenses for a significant time.
I had anyway budgeted for a period of most of this year without any/much income until I brought my company to active fruition.
All I am considering is paying myself less than that currently, for a short period, to minimise 'unnecessary' outgoings.

To give a little more background, I am living alone with no dependents, in very cheap rented accommodation (CHF 600 /month inc. utilities).
I have no car, no debt of any form, and my only living costs are groceries, prepay phone, etc.

I would not apply for any social/government financial assistance, and would pay all bills as required.
I currently have a declared income of CHF 65-70k. Might then a temporary 50% contract in the region of CHF 30k-35k be considered sufficient?

As I understand it, my B-Permit still has nearly five years before I have to renew it, assuming I do not relocate Gemeinde/Canton before then. As long as I pay all my bills and do not claim any assistance, how should I come to the attention of the migration department?
i.e. if it eventuated -- what mechanism would the residency revocation take? Just by the Witholding Tax department or AHV notifying the Einwohnerdienste of my reduced income?
Or as I mentioned might my status at year-end tax-time be the crucial factor? So if my income reduction is only temporary e.g. 6 months might I then escape notice?
(And if it happened, would it be automatic and non-appealable, or would I be given any warnings or opportunity to explain my situation first?)

As regards secondary employment -- prior to my recent move here to Switzerland, I was similarly self-employed, and can still count on some ongoing income from that company to declare as assisting in supporting myself. Would this 'count' despite it being foreign sourced?

Thanks again everyone!
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Old 10.01.2021, 16:58
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Re: Part-time employment whilst retaining residency?

Hey

Talk to an accountant ... itís the best way to sort this out... here we are just guessing.
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Old 10.01.2021, 17:57
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Re: Part-time employment whilst retaining residency?

The only moment you should have contact with the migration authority is in 5 years time.

Or if you start receiving cantonal/communal social help (as the institution is obliged to communicate to the migration authority when a foreigner draws on this help).

Since you seem to be able to support yourself without social help, you should be off the radar of the migration authority until renewal time (i.e. 5 years). AHV let alone tax will not communicate low earnings to migration authorities.

Different story at renewal time however.
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Old 10.01.2021, 18:03
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Re: Part-time employment whilst retaining residency?

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The only moment you should have contact with the migration authority is in 5 years time.

Or if you start receiving cantonal/communal social help (as the institution is obliged to communicate to the migration authority when a foreigner draws on this help).

Since you seem to be able to support yourself without social help, you should be off the radar of the migration authority until renewal time (i.e. 5 years). AHV let alone tax will not communicate low earnings to migration authorities.

Different story at renewal time however.
Or maybe if you decide to move and need to re-register somewhere else that would put you on the radar too?

Anyway, I think as the owner and employee of the company you could cut your salary at any time while without changing the status of full-time employee. Lots of business owners cut their own salaries when times get tough. It doesn't mean they're not still working 100%.
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Old 10.01.2021, 18:18
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Re: Part-time employment whilst retaining residency?

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Or maybe if you decide to move and need to re-register somewhere else that would put you on the radar too?
For a change of canton maybe but not a simple change of address within the same commune or canton.
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Old 10.01.2021, 19:40
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Re: Part-time employment whilst retaining residency?

Since it seems to be your choice of how much to work, then just do 4 years as you are and bump up the hours to say 80% six months before the next renewal.

Showing 5 years of self-support and the ability to find more work as needed should be fine for a permit renewal.

In any case, who knows what your situation will be in five years...
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Old 10.01.2021, 22:08
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Re: Part-time employment whilst retaining residency?

Quote:
Yes I understand significant threshold earnings are required to get a permit.
But I have already got it. Are they required to keep it is more my enquiry
You have a permit for five years, what happens after that very much depends on what happens during that period. If you have not managed to establish an economically viable way of life by then, it is up to them what happens next - you either satisfy them and get accepted, another B permit to see of you can achieve it or a departure notice.
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Old 10.01.2021, 22:36
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Re: Part-time employment whilst retaining residency?

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From my brief investigation of Kurzarbeit I do not think I would be eligible, being a sole proprietorship and "employed in a function similar to that of an employer".
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I very recently set up my own GmbH, then 'employed' myself via it as sole employee
Sole proprietor is equivalent in the UK to sole trader. Either you work through your GmbH or you're self employed. Which is it?
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Old 11.01.2021, 23:58
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Re: Part-time employment whilst retaining residency?

All good points, thanks!
...and I did enquire with an accountant today -- they are of a similar opinion that I should be able to pay myself whatever I want.

Sorry about my slip in terminology -- I think of myself as a self-employed sole proprietor, but yes more correctly I am the sole employee of my own GmbH.

Hopefully it shouldn't be anywhere near 4yrs before I am commercially viable, I just want to save a little money for the next 6-9 months or so.

(I just wanted to check this all out before going ahead, to avoid shooting myself in the foot with the permit having put so much effort in to get it!)
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