Added by Nigel Shelbourne on October 24, 2011
Swiss banks are likely to settle a U.S. investigation of offshore tax evasion by providing, the names of thousands of Americans holding accounts with them. A final accord could be compete by November 10.
In July the U.S launched a criminal investigation into possible involvement of Swiss institutions involvement in helping U.S. citizens avoid paying U.S. income tax. The U.S. and Switzerland have since been in talks about using existing agreements can be used to provide administrative assistance can be provided for cases of tax evasion and tax fraud.
While the Swiss could reportedly deal with the situation by paying fines, as they have done with other countries, the U.S. reportedly want to ensure that laws apply fairly among taxpayers. Accords earlier this year with Germany and the U.K. on untaxed assets resulted in the identity of clients remaining secret. The U.S. insists that Swiss banks disclose client information for between 5,000 and 10,000 accounts. Currently 11 Swiss banks are involved in the investigation.
Under Swiss law, Swiss banks may disclose client information in accordance with procedures provided for by double-taxation agreements. Switzerland’s government reached and ratified an agreement with the U.S. last year, yet the U.S. has not yet ratified the agreement.