Swiss banking – taxes
Swiss banking secrecy is not lifted by tax evasion, even at the request of a foreign government.
The failure to declare or underestimate the income or assets in the income statement is not considered a crime in Switzerland.
The Swiss attribute greater importance to respect for private life than to taxes. Banks have no right to inform the Swiss tax authorities, let alone the foreign tax authorities.
A clear distinction must be made between tax evasion and tax fraud. Tax fraud (forged documents, dishonest practices) is considered a crime in Switzerland. In this case, a competent judge can lift bank secrecy and judicial cooperation can be developed.
Taxes are not levied on the money you invest in Switzerland, nor on capital gains or interest.
There are only 2 exceptions to this rule:
Exception 1: the Swiss advance tax
There is an advance tax of 35% on the basic interest generated by your account. “Anticipated” means that the bank will keep 35% and send it to the Swiss tax authorities (without a name) and pay you only 65% of the interest generated. To avoid this tax, your banker will propose you to invest the funds in a short-term investment fund in the money market that will be exempt from this advanced tax.
Exception 2: US persons
If you are a US person, you should refrain from investing in US securities from your Swiss bank account if you wish to maintain confidentiality. When you open the account, the bank will ask if you are a US person, that is, if you are a US citizen, if you have a green card or if you are a US taxpayer. for other reasons. If your answer is affirmative, you must tell the bank NOT to invest in US securities or accept that the bank sends information about your US investments to the Treasury.
Let’s say it once again: Switzerland does not levy taxes on Swiss bank accounts and, in practice, the two exceptions to this general rule described above are not problematic. We only talk about Swiss taxes and we advise you to check your tax legislation to see if you would have to pay taxes in your country on the accounts you have in Switzerland.