An N+1st attempt to summarize information helping to optimize taxes arising from investments with ETFs.
Some preliminary comments: I am going to mostly refer to MSCI indices. Their definition/composition can be found at msci.com (search for pdf factsheets).
MSCI ACWI is all-countries index: 50 countries, 23 Developed Markets, 27 Emerging Markets. An up to date country weights can be found at ACWI | SPYY : SPDR® MSCI ACWI UCITS ETF
(see Holdings → Geographical Weights).
Dataset 1: withholding taxes on dividends received from stocks from different countries for funds with different domiciles.
Data are both “theoretical” and extracted from yearly reports of various ETFs. Unfortunately LU ETFs do not report gross dividends and withholding taxes separately.
Red: expensive taxes
Green: potential tax savings
Yellow: data as extracted from annual report which I don’t understand completely. Could be one-off effects in particular funds.
In case of a Swiss resident, tax optimization includes (at least) two things: (i) less non-reclaimable withholding tax on dividends and (ii) less dividends which are taxed as income. So it is for example possible to move a segment that pays more dividends into a tax-sheltered account (3a funds at finpension/VIAC).
Dataset 2: % of non-reclaimable witholding taxes on dividends and dividend yields for some “whole world” (with and without emerging markets) funds.
Dataset 5: estimated total yearly cost of investing in various world market segments via different investment vehicles.
3a investing via CSIF Index Funds does not take into account tax savings when you pay taxes in and taxes paid when you take 3a money out. However considering how different these tax rates are, one probably benefits additionally from 3a investing. Wealth tax is also not accounted for, but it should additionally increase advantage of 3a investing.
Wealth tax exemption is applicable independent of the specific investment chosen within 3a. So i’d say it is not valid to include it in this specific comparison, as this concerns the question whether one should use 3a and not the questions which ivestments to hold in 3a.