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Re: swiss-list: Double taxation of dual citizens

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Re: swiss-list: Double taxation of dual citizens

From: Laurent Piguet <click for textversion of email address >
Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2004 17:34:23 +0100
X-Mailer: QUALCOMM Windows Eudora Version

Somehow, I missed the original question. Being back in Switzerland since
1999, here is the information I can offer on what I think is the topic:

- US citizen and Green Card holders have to file. GC holders certainly will
have to file within the year they have been back, as long as their GC is
still considered valid. However, you can also probably voluntarily give up
your GC.

(Let's start a short parenthesis:
Another thing I have recently learned is that as long as you go back to the
US at least once a year, the INS doesn't seem to be able to take your Green
Card back (trust me on this, I have gone through secondary inspection at
the airport twice now). In my case, I don't care either way. I just tell
them the truth: I live in CH, married with a US citizen, blah, blah. They
always freak a bit, and let me through on resident status. Again, the GC is
a tax liability, so I don't care if they take it away... but they haven't,
and I won't voluntarily give it up.
-- end of parenthesis)

- There are different exemptions you can claim: the housing deduction (if
you meet the physical presence test (163 days or so), or some other test)
and the foreign tax credit. I don't remember the ins and outs of
everything, but the bottom line is: if you are now residing in Switzerland,
you shouldn't owe anything as long as you don't earn more then $86k
*taxable income* (after deductions) per person. With the dollar trading at
1.50 CHF, this hasn't been much of a problem so far. Seeing the way the
dollar has been behaving recently, it might become more difficult...

- It is a pain to file income tax forms twice (for CH and the USA). I have
been using a good tax accountant in Geneva, and he has worked well, but
it's not cheap (in the order of CHF 1000.-). Last year, I have started
using TurboTax, and as far as I can tell, it did everything right (I had
the previous tax return(s) to compare...). So, I will keep using TurboTax,
since the time drain of gathering up all the paperwork is pretty much the
same whether you use the software or an accountant.

- If you are married with a US citizen, an idea could be to separate your
assets (including bank accounts), and filing separately. If your US spouse
doesn't work, it will greatly simplify the US tax return.

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Received on Fri Jan 23 2004 - 14:24:30 PST

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