Google Groups no longer supports new Usenet posts or subscriptions. Historical content remains viewable.
Dismiss

Swiss Social security benefits on US Tax forms

42 views
Skip to first unread message

tb

unread,
Jan 26, 2024, 11:04:36 AMJan 26
to
The following message was posted on a forum for Swiss citizens. What do
the experts on this forum suggest?

"Hello, I am seeking expert advice for reporting Swiss social security
benefits on USA tax forms.

Local tax experts were not expert enough to know about foreign pension
and social security benefits.

I have now spent a lot of time reading but it is still confusing. I do
not wish to be taxed if there is a treaty that protects but I believe
the amount has to be nevertheless reported with mention of the treaty.
(Not something feasible using Turboxtax online I guess.)"
--
tb

--
<< ------------------------------------------------------- >>
<< The foregoing was not intended or written to be used, >>
<< nor can it used, for the purpose of avoiding penalties >>
<< that may be imposed upon the taxpayer. >>
<< >>
<< The Charter and the Guidelines for submitting posts >>
<< to this newsgroup as well as our anti-spamming policy >>
<< are at www.asktax.org. >>
<< Copyright (2011) - All rights reserved. >>
<< ------------------------------------------------------- >>

John Levine

unread,
Jan 26, 2024, 1:30:11 PMJan 26
to
According to tb <nos...@example.invalid>:
>The following message was posted on a forum for Swiss citizens. What do
>the experts on this forum suggest?
>
>"Hello, I am seeking expert advice for reporting Swiss social security
>benefits on USA tax forms.
>
>Local tax experts were not expert enough to know about foreign pension
>and social security benefits.

Here's the tax treaty:

https://www.irs.gov/businesses/international-businesses/switzerland-tax-treaty-documents

You should read the treaty and the technical explanation but thse bits of Article 19
seem fairly clear:

2. a) Any pension paid by, or out of funds created by, a Contracting State or a
political subdivision or a local authority thereof to an individual in respect of services
rendered to that State or subdivision or authority shall be taxable only in that State.
b) However, such pension shall be taxable only in the other Contracting State if
the individual is a resident of, and a national of, that State.

4. Notwithstanding paragraph 2, social security payments and other public pensions paid by a
Contracting State to an individual who is a resident of the other Contracting State may be taxed
in that other State. However, such payments may also be taxed in the first Contracting State
according to the laws of that State, but the tax so charged shall not exceed 15 percent of the gross
amount of the payment.

So it depends where you live.

--
Regards,
John Levine, jo...@taugh.com, Primary Perpetrator of "The Internet for Dummies",
Please consider the environment before reading this e-mail. https://jl.ly

Adam H. Kerman

unread,
Jan 26, 2024, 4:40:39 PMJan 26
to
tb <nos...@example.invalid> wrote:

>The following message was posted on a forum for Swiss citizens. What do
>the experts on this forum suggest?

>"Hello, I am seeking expert advice for reporting Swiss social security
>benefits on USA tax forms.

>Local tax experts were not expert enough to know about foreign pension
>and social security benefits.

>I have now spent a lot of time reading but it is still confusing. I do
>not wish to be taxed if there is a treaty that protects but I believe
>the amount has to be nevertheless reported with mention of the treaty.
>(Not something feasible using Turboxtax online I guess.)"

"Doctor, it hurts when I do this."
"Stop doing that."

There may be someone supporting taxpayers trying to report foreign
income through Turbotax who can help but it's very difficult to find tat
kind of support. Those using Turbotax aren't paying for that kind of
support.

Conclusion: Don't rely on obtaining straightforward help from Turbotax
if the taxpayer has that kind of income to report.

To the extent it's reported, it's aggregated with other pensions and
annuities on Lines 5a and 5b. There also may be reporting under FBAR
and FATCA, forms I'm sure cannot be generated through your basic Turbotax
subscription.

Nonrefundable foreign tax credits are on Schedule 3.

Yeah, there's a lot to read. Start with this summary of income that's
subject to taxes (contributions) to either or both government pension systems.

https://www.ssa.gov/international/Agreement_Pamphlets/documents/Switzerland.pdf

The summary documents from this tax law firm seem informative.

https://www.goldinglawyers.com/us-tax-treatment-of-switzerland-pension/

How To Report Foreign Pension Income on a 1040 Form
https://www.castroandco.com/blog/2023/october/how-to-report-foreign-pension-income-on-a-1040-f/

The Taxation of Foreign Pension and Annuity Distributions
https://www.irs.gov/businesses/the-taxation-of-foreign-pension-and-annuity-distributions

If I had a significant amount of income of this kind, I might hire an
accountant who actually understands this stuff.

tb

unread,
Jan 26, 2024, 4:40:39 PMJan 26
to
Thanks. On which line of the 1040 should such social security payments
be inserted?

--
tb

John Levine

unread,
Jan 27, 2024, 10:03:06 AMJan 27
to
According to tb <nos...@example.invalid>:
>> > "Hello, I am seeking expert advice for reporting Swiss social
>> > security benefits on USA tax forms.

>Thanks. On which line of the 1040 should such social security payments
>be inserted?

I don't claim any particular expertise, but this section of the instructions
for form 1040 may be helpful:

https://www.irs.gov/instructions/i1040gi#en_US_2023_publink24811vd0e4470

--
Regards,
John Levine, jo...@taugh.com, Primary Perpetrator of "The Internet for Dummies",
Please consider the environment before reading this e-mail. https://jl.ly

0 new messages