U.S. Expatriate Taxes In Switzerland
You are going to be required to file U.S. expat taxes no matter which country you live in, but how will your taxes be affected if you live in Switzerland? Switzerland is a landlocked country geographically divided between the Alps. While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of approximately eight-and-a-half million people is concentrated mostly on the plateau, where the largest cities are to be found: among them are the two global cities and economic centers Zürich and Geneva.
Nevertheless, it is important to understand how your U.S. expat taxes are going to change with your move to Switzerland, and what taxes you will be required to pay to your host country while residing there.
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U.S. Expat Taxes in Switzerland
U.S. citizens and U.S. green card holders (resident aliens) have unique filing obligations, unlike the citizens of other tax jurisdictions. The U.S. imposes income taxation based upon citizenship, not based on tax residency and U.S. resident aliens are taxable on worldwide income for their lifetime unless they expatriate completely.
U.S. citizens and U.S. green card holders living and working outside the United States are required to file a U.S. tax return annually and report their worldwide income if they continue to meet the annually indexed minimum tax filing threshold amounts, consisting of the standard deduction and exemption.
Residing and working outside of the United States may permit the application of special tax laws and regulations when certain qualifications are met, permitting the offset of U.S. tax obligations in part or in their entirety. These rights of offsets are the result of the integration between the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE), Housing Exclusion (HE) and/ or Housing Deduction (HD) available on Form 2555 – Foreign Earned Income and Foreign Tax Credits (FTC) available on Form 1116 – Foreign Tax Credit. The Foreign Tax Credit on Form 1116 may be considered if the foreign country has a foreign income tax.
At Protax Consulting Services, our primary goal and objective is to use these interplay of mechanisms – the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE), Housing Exclusion (HE) and/ or Housing Deduction (HD) –in combination to wipe out any U.S. income tax.
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