Tax Optimisation

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Tax Does Not Have To Be Taxing

Tax comes in many forms, is rarely simple, but can be managed to have as little impact on your finances as possible. We are not tax advisers or accountants, but we do have a great deal of experience in helping our clients structure their assets to be more tax efficient, and instead partner a number of certified tax experts that can help you directly.

Tax Declaration

We partner a number of certified Swiss and international tax specialists. We can help you with very simple, or very complex tax returns. Important deductions to be aware of are:

Work related expenses

Contributions to Pillar 2 (occupational pension)

Contributions to Pillar 3a (private pension)

Interest on debt; mortgages, car and personal loans

Deductions for children (under adult age or in full time education)

Disability costs

Insurance premiums (up to maximum limits)

Reclaiming withholding tax on investment income

Double Taxation

This is very simply where two countries tax the same asset, income or financial transaction. A Double Taxation Treaty (DTT) between countries often mitigates dual liability, however these agreements are not set in stone, and are frequently renegotiated. For many of our clients one of the biggest challenges is keeping up to date with these changes, understanding how it affects them personally, and setting up their assets in the most tax efficient manner.

Investment Taxation

The most common forms of tax on investments are income tax and capital gains tax. In Switzerland for example, capital gains tax only exists for immovable assets (property), however there is a 35% withholding tax on investment income such as interest and dividends. The tax can be reclaimed via an annual tax return, however it is then added to your income for the year and taxed at your appropriate rate. We specialise in utilising financial structures that can be used to defer or avoid such investment taxes.

Declaring/Optimising Overseas Assets

Until recently it was possible to accrue assets in another part of the world and not declare them in your country of residence. Far from being deliberate, this situation often occurs unintentionally as the result of an inheritance, a family gift, or from not knowing the reporting rules.

On the back of recent US led initiatives (namely FATCA), tax authorities worldwide have become cooperative and organised when it comes to sharing individual’s tax information. A recent major international tax development saw 51 countries in the OECD – including Austria, Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and Switzerland – sign up to the MCAA (Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement); an agreement to automatically exchange tax information. (Full list here

In our experience non or miss-reporting is largely non-criminal, and occurs unintentionally as the result of an inheritance, a family gift, or from not knowing the reporting rules. It is important now more than ever to make sure you have your affairs in order, before these changes take effect in years 2017/18, and there are a number of legal, logical ways to protect your assets. For more information contact us now to schedule a call or appointment with one of our qualified advisers.