US Tax return / déclaration d'impôt américaine
Your U.S. tax return
Tax obligations of US citizens in Switzerland at a glance
All employees earning more than USD 10,000 or self-employed persons earning more than USD 400 in Switzerland must complete form 1040. The official filing date is April 15, but expatriates benefit from an automatic extension to June 15, which can be extended to October 15 on request. The tax amount must also be paid by the same date, and interest on late payment will start to accrue the following day.
In the case of assets held outside the USA, you will be asked to complete form 8938.This form must be completed by all US taxpayers domiciled in Switzerland, if total foreign financial assets exceed USD 200,000 on the last day of the tax year or exceed USD 300,000 during the tax year, excluding your domicile if held in your own name.
Form 5471 / 8865
U.S. citizen shareholders of certain foreign corporations may be required to file Form 5471 for corporations and Form 8865 for partnerships.This requirement may also apply to directors and officers whether or not they own stock.
Every year, you'll need to fill in this form, which lists all your bank accounts, 3rd pillar included, as long as the total amount of your accounts exceeds USD 10,000 at any time during the year. Since the penalties can be very high, we recommend that you fill in the form every year, even if you don't exceed this limit. Furthermore, since the introduction of the automatic exchange of information, we remind you that Swiss banks are obliged to transmit the requested information to the US government.
The principle of non-double taxation
There are two main ways for Swiss-domiciled taxpayers to reduce or eliminate their US tax liability.The first is called the Foreign Income Exclusion, which allows you to deduct around USD 100,000 of income from your US taxable income, and the second is called the US Foreign Tax Credit, which gives you a tax credit for every dollar you paid in Switzerland. The latter is an excellent option for the taxpayer who would pay more tax in Switzerland than in the U.S.
Sanctions and penalties
As sanctions, penalties and interest for late filing are stricter than ever, we strongly advise you to complete all required forms in line with tax expectations, and to do so on time.Our team is at your disposal for any further information you may require, and we would be delighted to help you in any way we can.