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The U.S.-Switzerland tax treaty includes double taxation on income tax, corporate tax and capital gains tax, but a clause called a savings clause in Article 1, paragraph 2, states that “the United States can tax its citizens (including their former citizens) as if this convention had not come into force.” This means that U.S. expats still have to impose U.S. taxes on their global income. The agreement and the additional protocol provide maximum tax rates for different types of income for people who make profits in both countries. It also provides protection against double taxation of income and contains certain provisions relating to the exchange of financial information. On 13 March 2009, the Federal Council announced that Switzerland intends to introduce OECD standards for mutual tax assistance, in accordance with Article 26 of the OECD Model Tax Convention. The decision allows the exchange of information with other countries in individual cases where a concrete and reasoned request has been made. The Federal Council has decided to withdraw the reserve for the OECD`s model tax treaty and to begin negotiations on the revision of double taxation conventions. However, Swiss banking secrecy remains intact. Protocol amending the agreement between the United States of America and the Swiss Confederation on the prevention of double taxation, taking into account income taxes, signed on 2 October 20, 1996 in Washington, signed on 23 September 2009, in Washington, D.C., corrected by an exchange of notes on 16 November 2010 and a related agreement by an exchange of notes on 23 September 2009 PDF – 2009 Switzerland has entered into double taxation contracts with more than 80 other countries, of which more than 30 are based on the OECD model. The general effect of contracts for non-residents of the contracting states is that they can benefit from a partial or total refund of the tax withheld by the Swiss paying body.

Although the total amount of the withholding tax is deducted at source, the difference can be recovered from the Swiss tax authorities from the non-resident. If there is no double taxation agreement that deducts withholding tax deducted in foreign jurisdiction on transfers made to a Swiss company, a tax credit is entered into in Switzerland. The United States and the Swiss Confederation have signed an agreement to avoid double taxation of income taxes. The treaty came into force on January 1, 1998. Brandi Caruso and Robin King of Deloitte summarize the significant changes introduced under the 2009 protocol recently ratified at the 2009 Swiss Double Taxation Convention. The 2009 Protocol contains three main amendments to the 1996 Swiss/US Double Taxation Convention: a separate agreement, called a totalisation agreement, helps US expatriates in Switzerland not to pay payroll taxes to both US and Swiss governments. Contributions from expatriates in Switzerland can be credited to both systems. The country they pay depends on the length of their life in Switzerland. The U.S.-Switzerland tax agreement was signed in 1996 and an additional protocol was added in 2009. The aim of the treaty is to avoid double taxation for Americans living in Switzerland and Swiss living in the United States, but it does not prevent U.S. citizens living in Switzerland from imposing U.S. taxes.

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