Some members of my family are moving to another country. What are the fiscal implications of this change?

When a family member relocates to another country, it should be understood that provided certain conditions are met they will become a tax resident of that country and their tax obligations will change as their global income will be subject to taxation in this country from that moment on. When this new tax residence status is acquired, not only will they have to pay income tax in the country but they may also be subject to tax on capital gains or inheritance tax. Any change of tax residency should be carefully planned, at both exit and entry stage, to avoid any surprises.

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The tax obligations on my assets are increasingly complex. What measures can be taken to prevent future risks?

Tax regulations are constantly evolving. This means that existing taxes are frequently amended or new taxes are implemented. Therefore, periodic asset assessments should be carried out to avoid higher tax expenses due to a lack of foresight.

My business is becoming international and its management is increasingly complex. Are there ways to make international business activities more efficient?

Many countries have signed agreements to avoid international double taxation together with bilateral agreements for the promotion and reciprocal protection of investment. When you are thinking of starting or buying a business in another country, you should consider the alternatives offered by international legislation to obtain the greatest tax efficiency coupled with the highest legal security.

My assets are increasingly global, as I have investments in different countries. Which taxes can affect me and how can I mitigate their effect?

When investors seek the best international diversification for their assets, one of the most important aspects to be considered is which taxes in the country where the assets will be deposited will affect them if they are not resident in that country. Income tax and inheritance tax are charged on assets deposited in most countries, so it is important to look for jurisdictions where this does not occur. For instance, unlike other countries, Switzerland does not levy taxes on inheritance or income tax on assets of non-residents, and at the same time offers one of the most stable and international investment environments, with multi-currency transactions and access to most of the major international markets.

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The confidentiality of information about my assets is very important. Does banking secrecy still exist in Switzerland?

Yes. In Switzerland, banking secrecy is one of the pillars of its financial system. All information about banks’ clients is heavily protected, and only in very exceptional cases can information be revealed through judicial channels. Infringing bank secrecy can even imply criminal accountability for anyone breaching their duty of confidentiality.

The information exchange agreements that Switzerland has signed with different countries are not in breach of this protection, because they are limited to sharing very specific information of a purely fiscal nature that will be protected under standards similar to those existing in Switzerland by the competent authorities of the country receiving it.