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  1. #1

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    Question Selling swiss shares -now HMRC wants their share (under Bilateral tax treaty) HELP!!!

    Hi All,

    Not sure if this is the best place to ask about this or if it should be under 'General)...please move mods if required!

    Anyhow...

    I have some shares in Switzerland for some years now and looking to sell them. I acquired these shares when working for this multinational in another country (Oz). They were purchased at a 20% discount ('Employee share scheme', I believe). They trade on the Swiss stock exchange...hence the Swiss-UK bilteral tax issue....

    The UK subsidiary also has this 'employee share scheme' which I hope is an HMRC approved share incentive plans in which case there's either no tax to pay or it's at a reduced rate.

    Now I need the money here in the UK to help the UK economy...

    When I logged into my shares account (via UBS) I saw that the UK has some bilateral tax agreement with the Swiss which only came into effect this year (). More details about that agreement here:
    http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/taxtreaties/s...-factsheet.pdf

    Now UBS are giving me the option of:

    1) Voluntary disclosure to HMRC with my 'income' / capital gains (UBS simply pass on all my details, CHF info etc to HMRC). I then have to declare this on my next tax return.

    or:

    2) Have an anonymous witholding tax deducted by the swiss authorities. This tax is based on gross proceeds and not based on capital gains ('due to technical reasons') and therefore 'may lead to a higher witholding tax'.

    Just some questions really:

    1) anyone else been in a similar situation with Swiss assets?
    2) If I go for option 2, then it seems that I will be taxed on final sale of the investment (e.g.10k) and not the capital gains bit...is my understanding correct??
    3) If I go for option 1 (cough up to the HMRC) then with CGT I would not have to pay anything as long as my gain is not over the Annual Exempt Amount which is 10,600(HM Revenue & Customs: Capital Gains Tax: the basics). I'm still working out my 'gain' as I paid x amount (at 20% discounted price) every month for 4 years...not too straight forward! Any ideas how I work that one out?

    I presume I go through my statements and look at the amount of shares I bought and what price they were purchased. I then compare this against the sale price (let's assume I have sold them). I then deduct these two to arrive at my capital gain?

    Incidentally, I see that a witholding tax has been applied already to the dividends (35%) by UBS, so I won't include this on my calculations.



    4) I may transfer these shares to my wife as a 'gift' to reduce my tax liability further...how would I do that?



    I was going to see a tax expert but as we're talking about a few k, their fees will cost me more than any 'profit'!

    I may otherwise try and speak to HMRC and find out what the damage could be...without giving too many personal details away...

    PC

  2. #2

    Umbrella Queen

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    I would seek a professional advisor - offshore tax evasion penalties are now standing at 200% of the tax owed
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  3. #3

    Faqqed Off

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    Quote Originally Posted by PharmaContractor View Post
    Not sure if this is the best place to ask about this or if it should be under 'General)...please move mods if required!
    Oh goodness me, no - don't put it in General!!

    Quote Originally Posted by PharmaContractor View Post
    1) anyone else been in a similar situation with Swiss assets?
    Not with the Swiss, but I have US shares which I purchased through an employee share scheme with a discount.
    Quote Originally Posted by PharmaContractor View Post
    3) If I go for option 1 (cough up to the HMRC) then with CGT I would not have to pay anything as long as my gain is not over the Annual Exempt Amount which is 10,600(HM Revenue & Customs: Capital Gains Tax: the basics). I'm still working out my 'gain' as I paid x amount (at 20% discounted price) every month for 4 years...not too straight forward! Any ideas how I work that one out?

    I presume I go through my statements and look at the amount of shares I bought and what price they were purchased. I then compare this against the sale price (let's assume I have sold them). I then deduct these two to arrive at my capital gain?
    You should have a trade date for when you actually purchased the shares. We used to get them twice a year, but always had a statement with when we received them and at what price. From there, you can calculate the gain.

    Quote Originally Posted by PharmaContractor View Post
    I was going to see a tax expert but as we're talking about a few k, their fees will cost me more than any 'profit'!
    Why not ask your accountant?

    Have the shares paid a dividend? If so, how did you declare that on your self assessment?
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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFaQQer View Post
    Oh goodness me, no - don't put it in General!!


    Not with the Swiss, but I have US shares which I purchased through an employee share scheme with a discount.

    You should have a trade date for when you actually purchased the shares. We used to get them twice a year, but always had a statement with when we received them and at what price. From there, you can calculate the gain.



    Why not ask your accountant?

    Have the shares paid a dividend? If so, how did you declare that on your self assessment?
    I have monthly trade dates - they were purchased monthly. There's a lengthy explanantion how CG can be worked out for 'old' investments pre 1998...not sure if that method still applies: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/agents/sop.pdf Page 189 onwards

    Dividends...yes, these were paid into the share account and swiss witholding tax has been taken off. I've never 'cashed in' these dividend payments. These dividends were also paid put when I was not a tax resident here. So I've never declared this to HMRC.

    I could ask my accountant...but I don't think they're specialists in this area. Will see what they say anyhow.



    thanks!

    @Lisa - can you recommend any experts?

  5. #5

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    Yes I would get a certificate and tax in the UK. If you hold onto the shares thereīs no tax to pay just when you sell them, so you need to make sure you donīt make more than the CGT threshold.

    I wouldnīt go for the anonymous thingmybob at least not without discussing this with an accountant, this sounds like undisclosed income and penalties later on.

    As for the cash dividends they were paid before you entered the Uk so have no relevance, just transfer the money over.

    I donīt see any problem in going to see an accountant, heīll only charge you 100 quid for an hour and some advice. Heīll just tell you what you can expect. If you have a complicated situation can be worthwhile just before you hand your tax return in. I donīt think you need a specialist accountant, your local accountant can just check up and get back to you.
    Last edited by BlasterBates; 20th March 2013 at 17:07.
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