New Tax Deal for Swiss Banks

December 19, 2011 Taxation in Switzerland

Swiss Bank SecrecyBERN – Selected Swiss banks are being offered the opportunity to avoid prosecution by US authorities in exchange for information on their operations with US clients.

On December 18th the international mass media revealed that 11 Swiss banks were presented with the deal on December 16th, which will see US authorities drop their investigations into the bank’s practices, if the institutions agree by December 20th to divulge details on their US based clients and operation.

Swiss banks which agree to the deal will need to provide US tax authorities with full administrative assistance in their investigations into US taxpayers using Swiss bank accounts to hide their assets. The banks will also need to deliver information on correspondences between the bank and its US clients, including all notes on the client and available transcripts from meetings and telephone conversations, and details of correspondences with third parties regarding the clients’ affairs. Each bank will also have to submit their in-house documents regarding their business models and practices used to deal with US clients.

The names of the staff members who worked directly with US clients will also be provided to investigators, but the individuals will all be protected from prosecution for their involvement in helping US taxpayers avoid their US tax obligations.

The banks will also be required to pay a fine to US authorities, but the extent of the levy has not yet been revealed.

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