Interactive Brokers: Base Currency

Dear Mustachian community- I need your help!

I am a Canadian/Italian citizen living in Geneva. I opened an Interactive Brokers account, and the intention being to return to Canada, my base currency is CAD. Five years ago, I bought a bunch of Vanguard stocks in different ETFs, however I bought them in CAD.

As I’m now planning on staying in Switzerland long-term, I want to change the base currency (to USD?), and am unsure about how to go about doing it. Are there tax implications if I switch currencies? Any advice is welcome!

Ahhm. You are kind of mix together few things.

Base currency is the one that is used to show the value of your assets. Some fees are charged in the base currency, but this is rather a detail. So, you can switch it to CHF, it won’t change anything except for numbers in reporting.

Now, if you have bought your Vanguard ETFs on a Canadian exchange, they are traded in CAD. It means that prices are shown in CAD, but they will be recalculated in CHF for reporting. As long as you don’t do anything with them, it has zero relevance. If you ever sell them, you will get CAD cash balance. And you will probably want to convert it to another currency if you want to buy other funds or withdraw them.