Voluntary Disclosure Program for Swiss Banks?


Bloomberg/BNA is reporting that the DOJ announced today a program for Swiss banks to reveal tax information in return for nonprosecution agreements. The U.S. Department of Justice announced a program Aug. 29 to get Swiss banks to turn over detailed information about their U.S. account holders in return for agreements that the banks will not be criminally prosecuted by U.S. tax authorities.

The program, which is supported by the Swiss government, would require the banks to make a complete disclosure of their cross-border activities and provide detailed information on an account-by-account basis for accounts in which U.S. taxpayers have a direct or indirect interest.

Banks also would have to cooperate in treaty requests for account information, and provide detailed information on other banks that transferred funds into secret accounts or that accepted funds when secret accounts were closed. In addition, the institutions must agree to close accounts of account holders who fail to come into compliance with U.S. reporting obligations.

The Justice Department said the program will encourage Swiss banks to cooperate in the DOJ's ongoing investigations of the use of foreign bank accounts to commit tax evasion. It released a joint statement with the Swiss Federal Department of Finance, stating that Switzerland will encourage its banks to participate in the program.

The program is available only to banks that are not currently under U.S. criminal investigation for their offshore activities, the DOJ said in a news release.

Text of the DOJ release is at http://op.bna.com/dt.nsf/r?Open=emcy-9b2r6c.

The joint statement on the program is at http://op.bna.com/dt.nsf/r?Open=emcy-9b2qr7.


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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