Tuesday, August 25, 2009

DA hosting meetings on US Taxes for Americans Abroad

DA hosting meetings on US Taxes for Americans Abroad

Monday, August 31st in Lully, Vaud - for more information, visit Vaud Page

Wednesday, September 2nd in Bellevue, Geneva at Webster University - for more information, visit Geneva Page

We've asked our members to send in their questions related to living in Switzerland and filing US taxes, reporting foreign bank accounts and related matters. Below are some of the questions that will be answered. Check back next week for the answers.

Who has to file taxes in the US?
1. a) An American citizen who has no ties with the US as far as accounts, property, etc., and married to a Swiss person, can the filing status for the American be: married filing separate return? Or do they need to include their spouse?

b) When this same American is not working do they need to fill out a tax return?

2. How interest and capital gains earned in Switzerland is treated. Are they considered taxable in the US?

3. I am married and my husband is not American. In terms of bank accounts and income, what do I have to claim to the US for taxes and FBAR? We both work so have a dual income, shared accounts and expenses. And, we both file Swiss taxes. I'm just not sure what I am obligated to report from a US standpoint.

4. Getting Started - Where do first-time filers start?

5. Foreign Tax Credit - Benefits of filing Actual vs Accrual with respect to Foreign taxes paid?

6. Non-Resident Alien. My wife is not American and does not work. Is their any benefit to including her as a dependent (ie: registering her for a SSN)?

Questions related to declaring Pillar accounts:
1. I am curious about the reporting requirements for retirement assets such as 2eme and 3eme pillier. Are the earning on these funds taxable? Do the amounts need to be reported?

2. I heard that as an American married to a non-American and therefore living under the Swiss marriage law of communal estate the American have to declare the income earned as interest on their spouse’s pillar account? Can you explain this?

3. How do I avoid paying tax twice on tax-deferred payments into pension fund schemes in Switzerland and the US (i.e., how to make sure one is not paying income tax in the US on contributions into the Swiss system that are tax-deferred in Switzerland, and vice versa).

4. Social Securtiy vs AVS -- If we've contributed to both, do we collect both when the time comes?

Questions related to property: rental income and transfer of assets
1. If one has a rental property in France, and they are subject to pay taxes on this amount to the French government, is the rent also subject to tax in the US?

2. I am interested in Estate taxes and how the US treats a transfer of assets located in Switzerland

3. If I understand it correctly, the IRS demands retribution of 45% on the value of an inherited income, provided that it exceeds $ 2 million. In relationship to this,
a) does this apply if the people inheriting hold American citizenship, the deceased person, or both?
b) If I die before my husband, would my husband have to pay an inheritance tax on my half of our estate? Would this only apply if it exceeds the $2 million mark?
c) does it make a difference if the people inheriting reside in the U.S. or not?

4. If a person holding a double CH/USA passport owns a business in Switzerland, is he obliged to declare to the IRS the profits of this company, or only his salary? When he is deceased, would his inheritors have to declare the value of the company to the IRS?

Questions related to Switzerland and US treaty:
1. Under the new accord between the US and Switzerland regarding bank secrecy, is it a requirement to divulge details of Swiss bank accounts held by Swiss citizens, if they are also dual nationals/ American citizens?

2. What impact does the recent double imposition treaty between Switzerland and the US have on individual taxes?

3. With regards to the 'UBS list of names' that is to be presented to the US government within the next few months. Is there a way to know who is on this list?

4. What are the upcoming tax modifications for US citizens living abroad?

5. When is a person who is a non-U.S. citizen subject to Swiss taxes, if they are working for a U.S. employer but a permanent resident in Switzerland?

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