Transfer Portfolio from IB UK (Switzerland) to IB IE (Germany). Taxable Event?

Hello, I moved from Switzerland to Germany. With this, I also need to switch from IB UK to IB IE and transfer my portfolio. IB offers this. Does anyone know if this is in any way a taxable event for Germany? Anything I need to consider?

Welcome back mjdgard!

Out of curiosity, is the transfer from IB UK to IB IE free of charge?

I’m not familiar with German tax law, but in my understanding a securities transfer doesn’t involve any selling or buying, just a switch of custody. If we still had paper certificates, it would just mean moving paper from the UK to Ireland.

I would be careful with making sure the cost bases are done correctly to pay the right amount of capital gains tax if you sell later (do they consider the actual price you paid long ago, or do they take the market price at transfer time? I don’t know).

Since capital gains are in general non-taxable in Switzerland, it would be preferable for you to trigger gains before moving to Germany (but retain losses). Since it seems you already moved, it is probably too late to do anything. As always, tax planning needs to be done in advance.

Note also that many countries have deemed disposal rules which trigger on exit so that you pay your share of taxes before you skip the country.


I will come back to Switzerland in about 2y and was not planning to sell. Therefore, I was expecting not to be affected by capital gain taxes in DE. If I understand you correctly, I may be subject to capital gain taxes upon leaving Germany. I am curious if this is on the gain departure day - arrival day or since purchase.

In any case, I keep you posted as it may be helpful for others. Also regarding the IBKR process.

I do not know whether you need to pay taxes when leaving Germany (I would rather think no if you have only lived there for 2 years). However, some tax advisor websites claim that when leaving CH for DE, all the accumulated gains since purchase (not just the ones accumulated since moving time) need to be taxed in DE when the asset is sold, see eg here (search for the part with “step-up”):

The author suggests selling before leaving and then rebuying (to reset the gains to zero). Not sure how reliable that is, best would be to ask a pro - if the amount is sizable…