Swiss Bank Accounts

Author: Julien  //  Category: Premium finance and money matters

If you’re looking for a way to protect your assets than look into opening a Swiss bank account. You won’t find a more secure account than a Swiss bank account. If you need to protect your assets from snoopy investigators, or if you want to keep your financial status a secret a Swiss account can be the ideal place. The Swiss have some of the tightest regulations and privacy policies in the entire world as far as who can gain access to your account.

swiss account

So… who exactly would be interested in a Swiss bank account?
A Swiss bank account is most useful for people looking to keep their financial status a secret, and protect their assets from “attack.”

Under American law, law enforcement agencies, the judicial system, and private citizens can gain access to all kinds of financial information under. However, under Swiss law, except for extraordinary circumstances neither the bank’s officers or the bank’s employees are allowed to reveal any information, relative to any account to anyone, including the Swiss government.

No private citizen, or their legal representative can ever receive any type of information about any one’s Swiss bank account under any set of conditions. That includes all types of legal proceedings that the Swiss classify as “non-criminal behavior.”

The Swiss consider tax evasion and many other “crimes” under US law as “political offences.” Things like divorce, inheritance disputes and bankruptcy cases are examples of “private matters,” and as such the secrecy of the account is protected from any legal action to verify the presence of, or attempts to seize any assets.

Below is a list of the 5 biggest Swiss banks. All are familiar with foreign accounts:

- The Swiss Credit Bank in Zurich
- The Union Bank of Switzerland
- The Bank Leu (AG) in Zurich
- The Swiss Bank Corporation in Basel
- The Swiss Volksbank in Berne

Swiss banks offer the same range of services as most other banks: checking accounts, savings accounts, custodial accounts, etc. They also will hold other valuables like stock certificates, gold, silver, and other property for a fee. Like other Swiss accounts, they are protected under Swiss law from any snooping unless you’re engaged in criminal activity.

When it’s time to make a withdrawal, it can be paid in the currency of your choice. Swiss francs, American dollars, whatever you would like.

There are some notable exceptions. Three types of activity which the Swiss consider illegal, and are bound by treaty with the United States to “open” the account for possible legal proceedings are: organized crime activities, drug trafficking, and “insider trading” of securities. In instances of this kind, the Swiss authorities have the final say on whether or not to reveal any information.

The Swiss currently charge a hefty 35% tax on interest earned in Swiss accounts but Americans get 30% of that tax refunded by showing that they’re not Swiss residents. To claim the refund there is a catch 22. You must identify yourself, which of course give up your secrecy.

If you maintain the account in Swiss francs, and the franc increases in value relative to the American dollar, you may also be liable for a capital gains tax when you withdraw the money and convert it back to United States dollars. If you sustain losses from any decrease in value they are usually not deductible.

There are no US restrictions on having Swiss bank accounts, but current IRS regulations require you tell them what foreign accounts you have when you file your annual income tax return. If you answer yes, the Internal Revenue Service requires more paperwork.

Interest earned in a foreign account is still taxable under present US Tax laws, but you usually get to offset foreign taxes that you may be required to pay. Consult with a tax expert to learn what present regulations are since they change frequently.

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3 Responses to “Swiss Bank Accounts”

  1. seymour Says:

    I love this site. Good work…

  2. D Says:

    After the patriot act, all Swiss banks are required to report the opening and the presence of a swiss bank account by a US citizen. They will not report how much is in there nor how much interest it has earned, but you MUST file a special form with your tax return which acknowledges the account. If not, get ready for an audit.

  3. G Says:

    There is no such bank named Union Bank of Switzerland, it closed its doors in 1998, UBS is UBS thats it, it does not stand for Union bank of Switzerland

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