Michaela Merz


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American expats in Switzerland


My American friends, who have recently come to live in Switzerland, tell me stories that make you laugh or reduce you to tears depending on how you take them. If one is familiar with Switzerland and the New Yorkers, it is obvious where the daily discussions arise.

The Swiss neighbours are very quick to complain that one is too loud. Very frequently they don’t do so directly, in that they ring the door-bell and try to discuss the problem. No, if for example it is 10.00pm, that is 5 minutes after there should be no noise, the noise-sensitive neighbours call the police. And the Swiss police answer the call.

Or they put a note in the letter box of the American miscreants. On the last note, which a lady lawyer from New York received, was written: “Please take off your street shoes in the apartment!”. I asked her whether she wore shoes with high-heels, but she denied doing so quite strongly. Then I wanted to know whether at home in the night she dances or carries out other strenuous activities. Nothing of the kind. She even has carpets on about 80% of the floor. She is a lady, 50+, and that all sounded very plausible.

New York is noisy. Day and night. Quiet you will find nowhere. Therefore, their way of dealing with noise and peace is really very different from ours. A barking dog a floor above or below does not disturb. Road works by day or night they are used to. That also doesn’t disturb them.

The next touchy issue is car driving. They are easily caught for speeding and parking fines in Switzerland. My friend from New York says that they are afraid to open their letter-box and in the meantime she will no longer drive into Zürich by car. She finds some rules quite confusing and often is fined for mistakes. For example, in the USA all traffic lights show the same colour. They are all on red or all on green. In Switzerland, on the other hand it is not unusual that the right light is on red and the left on green or there is a green arrow next to the red. For my friend a horror, because she is not sure how she should react. So she has picked up a few 250 franc fines for driving through red and that because she had crossed the white line.

The next is waste disposal. That is a science of its own and in the meantime you need to attend a course to know what you should or may do with one’s own waste.

But the New Yorkers I know are pleased to be here and enjoy the high quality of life. And I am happy that they are here, because with them the local environment is more colourful and perhaps a bit more tolerant and not always so grim.


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Switzerland – protect your reputation register as per 1 of January 2018, respectively 1 of January 2019


Swiss VAT law places new obligations on foreign companies

The partial amendment to the Federal Law on Value Added Tax (VAT law) will impact companies not established in Switzerland from 1 January 2018. Businesses which are not based in Switzerland but provide supplies vis-à-vis Switzerland may be liable to pay Swiss VAT. This will apply in instances where a foreign company generates turnover in Switzerland, in other words in cases where Switzerland is the place of supply for the purposes of VAT. The following information outlines the VAT situation in Switzerland today and in the near future. Continue reading


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Switzerland – Assessment of 100 million due to incorrect import value


In understanding of the business impacts, the Federal Supreme Court clarified the uncertainty on determination of the import VAT value for foreign companies involved in supplies of goods to Switzerland resulting from the recent decision of the Federal Administrative Court. Continue reading


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Switzerland – E-Invoicing: requirement for advanced electronic signatures abolished 


603207_web_r_k_b_by_jorma-bork_pixelio-deIn order to claim the input VAT deduction on purchases, a tax payer has to prove authenticity and integrity of the document in question, irrespective of whether it was received on paper or electronically. In the past, for electronic invoices, this required the use of an advanced electronic signature. This applied despite the free consideration of evidence, which was introduced into the VAT legislation in 2010 and states that input VAT can be deducted if the taxable person can prove that he paid the VAT. Continue reading


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Senior Manager International VAT (100%)


AXPO

 

 

Axpo. Full of energy in Switzerland and in Europe.
The Axpo Group produces, trades and distributes energy reliably for more than 3 million people and several thousand companies in Switzerland and in over 30 countries throughout Europe. More than 4500 employees combine the expertise from 100 years of climate-friendly power production with innovative strength for a sustainable energy future. Continue reading


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Music, History and International Collaboration


Janacek_Projektlogo01It is common knowledge that the media persistently report on the strife, disharmony and suffering in our world caused by parties unable to find agreement or ways to compromise. Consequently, too seldom do the media give enough time or space to those successful and fruitful collaborations among people, which result in positive outcomes. It just shows that the adage “Good news doesn’t sell” still applies. Continue reading


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Top Women in Tax – please nominate your candidate until 15 December 2015


20 years ago, at the time when VAT was introduced in Switzerland, men were not really interested in this field. There was too little prestige, too little to shine. The opinion of the tax community at that time was that VAT is hardly relevant for businesses as it is a transit tax and only causes pain to end consumers who have to pay the VAT. Its true for the majority of the companies that VAT is a transit tax IF EVERYTHING IS IMPLEMENTED CORRECTLY. Continue reading