We have so many clients who create a diverse, robust portfolio and hope that will be enough to reach their financial goals. However, some don’t realize that there are opportunities to save more wealth by making smarter tax decisions. High-earning investors can choose to place certain assets or even relocate to a jurisdiction with better tax benefits. Switzerland is one of the most requested jurisdictions because of how friendly the country is towards high-earning investors. If planned properly, individuals can hold assets in private banks or even move to the country to reduce their tax burden. This article looks at what makes Switzerland a tax-friendly country and how our clients can benefit from the individual and corporate treatment of taxes. If you want to find out if Switzerland is the offshore destination for you, work with the professionals at Alpen Partners and create a tax plan that will lead you to financial success.

What is a tax-friendly nation?

Any country that offers individuals or companies tax incentives is considered tax-friendly. While many countries will unfairly tax wealthy individuals, a tax-friendly country will offer lower tax rates or no taxation at all on certain income or income earned from some investments. These incentives are sometimes meant to attract global investors since wealthy investors can help stimulate their economies. High-earning people and companies will often look to a tax-friendly jurisdiction to legally reduce their tax responsibilities. They will also take advantage of banking services to foreign entities, allowing them to save money, and making it more appealing than continuing their financial business in their home countries. On the individual level, some countries offer lower or no capital gains tax, tax on interest, inheritance, or personal income. On the corporate level, many have saved billions by reporting earnings to subsidiaries in countries that have better corporate tax laws. 

So, why would a country offer these tax incentives? By offering incentives to investors, they are drawing capital into their banks and other financial institutions. Countries like Switzerland pride themselves on maintaining a thriving financial sector and working with high earners to grow their economy. When thinking about tax-friendly regions of the world, it’s hard not to imagine tropical places like the Cayman Islands or the Bahamas that offer little to no taxation, which can work for some people. Switzerland, however, offers elite banking and decades of financial strength, and an incomparable banking system. The Swiss government has also made taxation for foreign individuals very easy. Let’s take a closer look at what Switzerland has to offer.

What makes Switzerland tax-friendly?

Switzerland is a hotspot for wealthy investors and is very tax-friendly. The strong economy is one of the biggest draws to this European country. Switzerland is number four in Europe regarding GDP per capita, has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the EU, and has very liberal trade and investment regulations. Many Americans are taking advantage of the economic climate, and the United States is the largest foreign investor in Switzerland. Beyond holding assets with prestigious banks, many of our clients invest in the Swiss franc as a way to hedge against their current investments. The country’s economic success is not going to be going away anytime soon, so the country will always be looked at as an ideal place to invest. 

In terms of taxation, the federal government offers benefits to both foreign corporations and individuals. For example, many believe that you can bank in Switzerland completely tax-free. While the Swiss banking system offers many great perks, such as privacy and security, it’s not entirely tax-free. One of the most appealing perks is the lump sum option for taxation. A household can pay an annual lump sum rather than at a rate based on income. This lump sum is usually lower than if the family was being taxed based on their incoming wealth. Further, the country taxes households rather than individuals, which can lower and simplify taxation for wealthy families. So, although taxation isn’t completely non-existent in the country, the security and prestige of the banking system, paired with the simplicity of taxation, make Switzerland a highly coveted financial climate for individuals worldwide. 

Not only does Switzerland offer great taxation benefits to individuals and families, but there are also advantages for global corporations. Almost 30% of Fortune 500 companies in the US have subsidiaries in Switzerland. The government offers heavy tax breaks for companies that hold 20% of shares of other corporations. Cantons levy no taxes on holding corporations. Small shell corporations are known to be formed in the jurisdiction for this reason. 

Tax planning with Alpen Partners

If you know you are ready to start saving on taxes but don’t know where to begin, contact Alpen Partners. We know it can be challenging to understand the nuances of every tax system and determine which tax system is accessible to you and will work with the goals for your future. We work alongside prestigious private banks, so not only can we guide you through the tax-saving process, but we can also guide you directly to financial success. So whether you want to take some or all of your assets to a foreign jurisdiction or you want a new lifestyle and hope to relocate, our team is ready to get you there. By working with Alpen Partners, our clients get hands-on tax planning, wealth management, and so much more. Our experts assist in all levels of financial and life planning for high net worth individuals, including asset protection, relocation, estate planning, personal concierge services, and portfolio diversification. Contact the experts of Alpen Partners today to begin your journey.