Phone : +41 31 566 70 01|info@swissbenefits.com

We are moving! New location in Bern

Good afternoon

We are moving offices to a new location:

Swissbenefits AG
Morgenstrasse 129
3018 Bern

We look forward to welcoming you on our new premises.

Best wishes,

Team Swissbenefits

 

Federal Council has raised the quotas for 2017

Some good news – the Swiss Federal Council has raised the quota for non-EU/EFTA nationals a bit for 2017.

It will not be a huge change – however it is a positive start in comparison to the last few years.

The government press statement in German is here.

 

Summer Break

Swissbenefits will be closed from the 22nd June 2015 and will re-open on the 6th of July 2015.

We thank you for your comprehension.

Citizens of 9 countries no longer need a visa in order to visit Switzerland

According to the press release here (sorry not available in English) the citizens of the following nine countries no longer need a visa in order to stay in Switzerland (and the entire Shengen area) for up to 90 days within a 180 day period: United Arab Emirates, Timor-Leste, Dominika, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Samoa as well as Vanuatu.

However don’t forget to take into account that the obligation to have a visa if you intend to come to Switzerland to work is still in place.

Happy travels!

Due diligence to prevent acceptance of untaxed assets – applicable to anyone who makes payments for third parties?

On the 5th of June 2015 the Federal Council has published a message to the amendment of the Anti-Money Laundering act (find the press release in English here).

These due diligence rules are applicable to all financial intermediaries according to article 2 of the anti money laundering act – it is essentially possible that by making payments for a client abroad (according to paragraph 3 letter c) one already has to ensure that the client taxes all income properly, so when in doubt, I would recommend not making any payments for clients.

It used to be part of a “concierge service” to make payments for certain clients, as making payments from abroad can take time. However today I find that a no-cash policy as well as not making any payments for third parties has become the only way to go. Individuals freshly immigrating to Switzerland who have no bank account yet will find this irksome, as all transfers will have to be made from abroad, and this can be costly as most service providers will demand that any transaction fees are at the expense of the client. This in itself costs time, calculations must be made, transfers can not always be done quickly, so even in todays day and age of digital banking efficiency is going to be clipped – at least in some cases – by a huge amount of bureaucracy. Additionally governments are considering banning cash entirely, which will turn us into glass citizens.

If this will solve the problem of money laundering and the financing of criminal activities will remain to be seen, alternatives such as gold, precious metals or gems still exist. Personally I like the quick and efficient way of handling banking, […]

An article about us

Dear Readers

For some information about us, this is a current article on the local: http://www.thelocal.ch/20150303/swissbenefits-saves-expats-from-stressful-transitions-tlccu

Regards,

Team Swissbenefits

VAT liability for foreign companies

The Federal Council has defined the VAT liability of foreign countries more precisely according to this article in English.

A short overview of what has been decided on:

Foreign companies will be treated the same as Swiss companies
Liability will come into effect if the turnover of the company is at least CHF 100’000 and the deliveries made are subject to purchase tax.
Foreign companies remain exempted if they only provide services that are subject to purchase tax, even if their turnover is over CHF 100’000 per year.
This ruling applies until the partial revision of the Value Added Tax Act (VATA) comes into effect.
In the revision it is foreseen that domestic and foreign companies will be subject to tax from the first franc turnover in Switzerland on, if their worldwide turnover is more than CHF 100’000.

 

 

By |November 17th, 2014|Taxes, VAT|0 Comments

Better protection of bank client data?

According to this press release from the 13.08.2014 (and yes – it is in English) the Federal Council would like to discourage stealing data from a financial institution by closing the loophole between stealing the data and selling it. I will try to oversimplify – if someone takes the stolen data and uses it for their own benefit or passes it own, the legal situation is not clear enough for prosecution.

That is a loophole that should be closed, I agree, but that is just a drop in the desert of all the legal issues that have arisen due to the current tax discussion. A first step on a long journey – I wonder if governments will be prosecuted for obtaining this sort of data illegally? Or honestly – don’t they already have everything they need? Meaning that this well meant legislation is a little too little a little too late.

 

 

Visa Agreement between Switzerland and Brazil formalized

The practice that for the first 90 days of their stay Swiss going to Brazil and vice versa do not need a visa has now been put into a formal bilateral agreement – following what is already in effect for the Shengen Area.

However the possibilities of employment remain restricted.

Not big news – however in midst of all the negative decisions concerning immigrations, this is a positive one. As a side note – please be careful when counting the days of your stay, overstaying in the Shengen area is no small offense and can have you blocked from the entire Shengen area.

The original press statement can be found in German here.

 

Concept for implementation the article stemming from the Mass Immigration Initiative

The Federal Council has presented a concept – essentially it is back to the quota system.

Here you can find the original press release in English, and here in German.

This Federal Council would like to re negotiate the bilateral agreements with the EU. I will keep you posted!