Late last week, the United States announced it has submitted a new request to Switzerland for information regarding the accounts of former clients of Credit Suisse who are suspected of not paying their U.S. taxes. The new request comes after a Swiss court blocked an earlier effort.
The U.S. has long pressured Switzerland to provide account information for those suspected of tax evasion in the U.S. Swiss law is somewhat unique, however, in that it views tax fraud as illegal, but not tax evasion. Thus earlier requests by the U.S. for information about American account holders, which focused on allegations of possible tax evasion, were rejected by Swiss courts.
Currently, the U.S. is investigating 11 Swiss banks - including Credit Suisse and Julius Baer - for helping American citizens hide money to avoid paying U.S. taxes. Switzerland hopes to have the charges dropped and to avoid the prosecution of other Swiss banks in exchange for paying fines and providing account holder information to U.S. authorities. A new deal, which has not yet been ratified by the U.S., would require Switzerland to aid U.S. authorities in cases involving both tax fraud and tax evasion.
Contact an Experienced Tax Attorney
If you have offshore accounts and have questions about your tax obligations, contact an experienced tax attorney. A knowledgeable tax lawyer can assess your case and advise you on the best course of action. For more information about what a tax attorney can do for you, contact us today.
Source: Reuters, "U.S. submits new request to Swiss on alleged tax cheats."