Grow your after-tax wealth by optimizing your
US and Swiss taxes
For most of us, taxes are by far our largest expense: income tax, wealth tax, social security tax, gift tax, inheritance tax, estate tax, consumption taxes, you get the idea. Smart tax planning can help you legally reduce your taxes, avoid double taxation, and grow your after-tax wealth faster.
The US tax code is known as one of the most complex in the world. US tax laws follow US citizens everywhere they live. Mistakes are easy to make, and tax reporting alone, even when no tax is due, can be burdensome. Switzerland has it owns tax rules that do not necessarily correspond with the way the USA taxes income and assets. This increases the risk of double taxation, but also provides unexpected opportunities for tax minimization.
Not surprisingly, tax is one of the biggest pain points for our clients, and one of the areas of financial planning where our advice can provide the most value.
We spend hundreds of hours every year studying tax rules, tax strategies and proposed tax legislation, both in the USA and in Switzerland, to make sure that we are always at the forefront of important changes. We understand how the current rules can be used in your benefit, and we can identify the tax strategies that will allow you optimize your tax situation and accelerate the growth of your after-tax wealth.
Our tax planning services include helping you:
- Save for retirement in a tax-efficient manner across different types of accounts: tax qualified, tax free and taxable in both the USA and Switzerland.
- Review your US and Swiss tax returns for reasonableness, the completeness of your offshore financial reporting and to identify potentially overlooked tax planning opportunities.
- Make the best use of US tax rules to avoid double taxation and maximize tax credits, including the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion and the Foreign Tax Credit.
- Make tax treaty benefit elections under the US-Swiss Income Tax Treaty, Social Security Treaty (Totalization Agreement) or Estate Tax Treaty.
- Identify the most appropriate IRS program to correct compliance errors or omissions in foreign income or asset reporting. These programs include Streamlined Domestic Filing Procedures, Streamlined Offshore Filing Procedures and the Delinquent FBAR Submission Procedures.
- Assess the impact of common Swiss tax reduction strategies on your US taxes including Pillar 3 contributions, Pillar 2 buy-backs or buy-ins, or certain Swiss real estate investments. These strategies can potentially reduce your overall Swiss plus US tax and that they avoid instances of double taxation in future years, thereby negating any benefits that may be experienced today.
- Make sure that you are reporting your income and assets according to US and Swiss tax requirements, consequently preventing errors that can otherwise result in onerous offshore penalties or get you in trouble with the tax authorities.
- Plan for expatriation (renouncing US citizenship or giving up your green card) without triggering covered expatriate status.
- Reduce your overall tax by optimizing between the US and Swiss tax systems when only one of the spouses is taxed as a US person.
- Understand when the election to treat a foreign spouse as a US person is beneficial or problematic, and help you understand the long-term consequences of this decision (continued tax consequences).
- Help you revoke US tax elections that were made in error or are no longer beneficial due to changes in your personal situation or laws.
- Efficiently manage the tax implications of your ownership or beneficial interest in a US or foreign trust while you are a Swiss resident.
- Coordinate your US and Swiss tax return preparation services through independent tax firms.
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Still Have More Questions?
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Yes. In addition to traditional portfolio solutions, we offer sustainable investment portfolios that account for Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors. ESG data on companies has become increasingly available over the last few years. This allows us to offer portfolios built with ETFs (exchange-traded funds) that exclude certain industries such as weapons manufacturers or tobacco companies. Industries included might focus on a particular theme, or aim to have a positive impact by promoting positive and limiting negative externalities. Investing in ESG portfolios involves risks, please refer to our ADV for more details.
Yes. We offer alternative investments such as private investments, hedge funds, and cryptocurrencies if you qualify as an accredited investor and when these investments are appropriate for your situation and are aligned with your financial plan. Some of these alternative investments may also be available to non-accredited investors. Investing in alternatives and cryptocurrencies involves risks, please refer to our ADV for more details.
Yes. We offer direct/personalized indexing when this investment strategy is appropriate for your situation. With direct/personalized indexing, you own the underlying securities in the portfolio, rather than shares of an investment fund. This approach provides additional opportunities to personalize your investments and potentially gain greater tax efficiency through daily tax-loss harvesting. Direct indexing involves risks, please refer to our ADV for more details.
We believe that every person deserves access to quality financial education that can empower them to make good financial decisions. For individuals and families who are unable to engage us for our professional services, our blog and educational videos provide free educational resources. Additionally, we regularly conduct educational workshops, covering topics like tax reporting, tax planning, saving for retirement, risk management, and legacy planning. To inquire about our next educational workshop, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
To minimize conflicts of interest and seek better alignment with our clients, we do not accept sales commissions or referral fees from investment product providers or independent professionals. We only receive compensation in the form of financial advisory fees paid by our clients as detailed in their financial planning advisory agreements. Our clients pay us a transparent fee for our advice.
We work hard to make sure your money is safe. We are members of a fee-only Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) with over $3 billion in assets under management serving approximately 5,000 families. We work only with top financial institutions like Charles Schwab and Fidelity as our independent custodians, and we use leading industry technology for investment management and financial planning. We hold multiple professional credentials, and we are held to a fiduciary standard, which means that we are required to always provide advice that is in your best interest, even when it’s against our own.
We offer US insurance services through our sister firm, Swiss American Risk Advisors. We have teamed up with Ash Brokerage to offer independent insurance solutions when needed. Please refer to our disclosures at the bottom of this page.