W-8BEN on your own & 30% withhold

Didn’t call them.
But a knowledgeable guy from Postfinance told me that they used to provide W-8BEN until 2015 (when they operated through BCV, which is TradeDirect), but from 2015, Postfinance e-trading is backed by Swissquote, and Postfinance doesn’t provide W-8BEN (so I suspect also Swissquote doesn’t, i.e. they’re not QI). But we need to 2ble check

Thanks. I’ll read the complete post… is long.
Is really a bit messy all the tax treatment by the different countries/brokers … Hope one day is going to more unified!

I think that 30% withhold (not tax) applies to all the VT (not only to the US part), for the reason that VT is a US ETF.

The case in which it applies only to US stocks inside the ETF (55.7%) is for non-US ETFs. And in that case the tax is 15%, paid by the ETF, so not reclaimable.

Does it make sense?

Swissquote did , at least a while ago.

This question was raised some times and according to that Swissquote is QI.

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This is correct to my knowledge as well.

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SQ and their silly-mousepointer-website says that they are QI: Qualified Intermediary (QI) | Swissquote

PF says that they are not, at least by saying that from an US ETF they pay 30% taxes.

So SQ is better than PF if you want to hold some VT in Switzerland apparently.
Am I right that if I have VT on PF I need to write to the IRS , which translates basically in “do not move/buy VT on PF”.
Note: this is for ppl like me that want to diversify Broker and apparently also funds.

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I don’t think that’s the case (I mean you pay 30% but because of the US extra withholding like SQ).

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Not to be annoying. but I don’t understand you.

  1. QI, according to the link from SQ means that you pay a reduced tax rate.
  2. PF says that you need to pay full taxes.

Are you saying that taxes are more than 30%? Because that’s what you sentence is implying.

The total deduction is always 30% at Swiss brokers. The question is whether PF deducts 30% US WHT (non-QI broker) or, what would be expected for a Swiss broker that is an IRS QI, 15% US WHT + 15% additional Swiss withholding for US securities (R-US).

If you’ve already received US dividends at PF, this should be easy to verify on the dividend statement.


@ma0 , the above is the case for my US stocks at Pfin, i.e. QI.
I do not have US ETF’s at Pfin, but very strongly assume it’s the same.
The “15% additional Swiss wht for USA stocks”, you get refunded from Switzerland, via your completed Swiss Tax Declaration.

This is exactly same as at Sq btw.


I do have Shares at PF and they’re a QI so you can reclaim the full 30%. Bern doing it for years in ZH - nowadays they even offer you the ability to move the entry from the ‚Vermögensverteichnis‘ to the DA1 (which you’ll use to reclaim the money. The ZH Tax Man wires you the full 30% once they checked all your dividend statements). The only thing at PF: the tax ppl need to see that the 30% deduction is contains the 15% ‚zusätzlicher Steuerrückbehalt USA‘. PF dies this, but either you pay PF for a tax report (Steuerauszug), or you’ll have to fetch every individual document for any US dividend received and send that along with the DA1. Other brokers have a free yearly report that contains everything needed (eg CT).
Of course, different cantons may have a different process and be more or less picky about what docs they want to see and how they‘ll reimburse you.


thanks for the info.
I don’t see a problem including dozens of pdf to the DA-1 report online.:smiley:
(which, on a side note, I already do since the tax software doesn’t allow to link the same pdf to different entries, so I enclose the same pdf to several entries of the tables. I hope they can filter it on their side )

Interested in this post for next year.

Re quote: isn’t this really weird considering PF e-trading is in fact Swissquote?

Yeah it’s more like misinformed customer service on PF part. Maybe they got confused since the withholding is 30% total.

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I‘m doing the same - had to find a free PDF joiner to create one ginormous PDF that I’m reattaching everywhere.