The working environment at ETH Zurich is varied, complex and extremely dynamic. It is essential to adapt quickly to changes in the university landscape and legal framework conditions. On behalf of the Executive Board, we are actively involved in supporting and shaping this process of change with regard to personnel policy issues. In doing so, we consider it important to provide optimum guidance for employees and to ensure efficient administration. Human Resources covers various different areas which focus on the recruitment, retention, development and departure of staff.

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Our clients hail from all parts of this small yet diverse country but roughly half come from Zurich, Geneva and Bern. US citizens, as well as permanent residents, are required to file expatriate tax returns with the federal government every year regardless of where they reside.

Along with the typical tax return for income, many people are also required to submit a return disclosing assets which are held in bank accounts in foreign countries by using FinCEN Form FBAR. Please note - if you have undeclared Swiss bank account s , we can help you resolve this issue with the IRS.

Do not wait for your bank to contact you first or even freeze your account. Find out more about our special service for Swiss Clients:.

Swiss Bank Disclosure Service. The United States is among only a few governments who tax international income earned by their citizens, as well as permanent residents, residing overseas. There are, however, some provisions that help protect from possible double taxation. These include:. Preparing a quality tax return following proper tax planning should allow one to use these, as well as other strategies, in minimizing or possibly eliminating tax liability. Note that in most cases the filing of a tax return is required, even if taxes are not owed.

The tax laws are quite confusing, and frequently change. It seems nearly impossible to file a return accurately.

Penalties for incorrect reporting can be substantial. The IRS offers some relief to delinquent taxpayers via a special procedure for filing. This may be a benefit to you if your returns have not been filed in previous years. Contact an expert tax advisor, who can help you get back on schedule with IRS filings. There are ways for United States expatriates to avoid much double taxation. There is a treaty between Switzerland and the United States that outlines some of these benefits.

A tax professional will help you understand the treaty and the available benefits. We'd like to shed light on many questions that we are frequently asked by our clients from the Switzerland. Below we will explain tax concepts that are important to you as a Swiss resident and also explain how to report the details of your Swiss life on our Tax Questionnaire. If you received redundancy pay, add gross amount as additional wages. Report other types of income i.

Similarly to income, tax also has to be reported separately for each type of income on which tax was paid. Base amount of income tax withheld from wages is shown on line 12 of the Certificat de Salaire.

If there was additional tax payment during the calendar year i. Taxes on unearned income may be withheld by the payor i. Wealth tax is not a part of income tax.

It can be deducted on your US tax return as a part of itemized deductions. Similarly to personal allowance in the UK, the U. For most Swiss residents filing U. Report distributions from Pillar 3 accounts as income from regular investment.

From the IRS prospective, contributions to Pillar 3 were made from after tax funds. Therefore only growth in the account is subject to tax. Report interest and dividends as if you have received it from bank account or brokerage account. Contributions to Swiss Social Insurance system withheld from your pay-check or made on self-employment income are not deductible from the U. A bilateral agreement between the United States and Switzerland improves Social Security protection for people who work or have worked in both countries.

It helps people who, without the agreement, would not be eligible for retirement, disability or survivors benefits under the Social Security system of one or both countries.

It also helps many people who would otherwise have to pay Social Security taxes to both countries on the same earnings. The provisions of the agreement eliminate double Social Security taxation and permit dual residents to use their work in both countries to qualify for benefits. Contributions to Social Insurance system make you exempt from contributions to the U. Social Security system that otherwise would be required in the U.

If you have Social Security credits in both the United States and Switzerland, you may be eligible for benefits from one or both countries. If you meet all the basic requirements under one country's system, you will get a regular benefit from that country. If you do not have enough work credits under the U. To be eligible to have your Swiss. Although the agreement allows the Social Security Administration to qualify for U. The United States, as the source country, subjects up to 85 percent of the benefits paid to U.

Foreign tax credit relief can be applied only on the U. No special double taxation relief rule is required in the reverse situation where Swiss social security benefits are paid to U. Contributions paid by or on behalf of that individual to the pension scheme may not be excluded in computing his U.

Employer contributions are added to gross annual wages for calculation of taxable earned income. However - you can eliminate the burden of double taxation. Taxes paid in Switzerland on pension income are applied as a foreign tax credit against tax owed on the same income in the U.

Specifically, application of Non-Discrimination Clause allows deferral of income earned in pension funds through the time when benefits are paid, although in absence of non-discrimination clause, income in pension funds earned by U. Under such election, the individual would file form NR and report only income derived from U. The requirement to provide full disclosure of foreign bank accounts remains and tax on income from U. Moreover, the person would be treated as a U.

For example, in determining whether a foreign corporation is a controlled foreign corporation, shares in that corporation held by the individual would be considered to be held by a U. When you start receiving pension distributions your monthly benefit will have taxable and non-taxable portion. The main nontaxable portion is all of your own contributions that have not been deducted from taxable income in the U. In addition, employer contributions that have been reported on your U.

All this taken together will constitute the "cost" in pension. The taxable portion will be calculated using the IRS calculator that factors in your cost in pension and your age at the time when you receive the benefits. This is not a simple calculation but after it's done once it will be easy to continue in the following years. Tax treaties with some countries have a far simpler way of calculating the taxable portion: i. Model 1 , chosen by most European countries, is based on the principle of automatic exchange of information.

Financial institutions provide details of all capital subject to US tax to their local authorities, who pass these details on to the IRS. Switzerland opted for Model 2 , according to which Washington is supplied with information directly by the financial institutions — but this only concerns capital held by American customers who consent to their details being released.

For customers who do not consent to this, the financial institutions must tell the IRS the number and the total value of these accounts. Financial institution must search their data to identify financial accounts held by US Specified Persons, or by foreign entities in which US taxpayers hold a substantial ownership interest. In order to achieve this, financial institution need to search their data looking for any one of seven indications indicia that an account holder may be a US person.

These indicia are: 1. US residential address 3. Place of birth in the US 4. US telephone number 5. Standing instructions to send funds to a US bank account 6. Power of attorney PoA or third party authority in favour of a person with a US address 7.

Form specifically requires reporting by U. Les parts sociales are shares of bank capital that account holders may own like shares of any other company.

Share ownership does not need to be reported. Passive income received from those share should be reported as foreign qualified dividends. Family allowances - various federal and cantonal allowances for children, education, birth and adoption. Included in U. Social Insurance - The basic pension insurance, Taxable income in Switzerland and in the United States,subject to the foreign tax credit to eliminate double taxation.

The salary statement used throughout Switzerland to provide information about income and expenses received. Main document required for preparation of U. Social Security card until you officially change your name with the U. Social Security administration. Taxation on Inheritance - May be imposed by cantons on the person who inherits the estate. Pillar 2- Occupational Pension Provision. Employer contributions to Pillar 2 included in calculation of U.

Pillar 3 - Individual Pension Provisions. Contributions to Pillar 3 are not deductible from the U. Report income in the Supplemental section of our Tax Questionnaire. Property tax, sometimes known as land or real estate tax, is a cantonal or communal tax on land and buildings. It is calculated on the full taxable value of the property, i.


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A salary statement is the most important document for your tax return. The higher your salary, the more tax you pay. All employers must provide their employees with a salary statement, which must include all the remuneration paid. Salary statements are normally sent out at the beginning of the year.


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