IRS gets a key to Swiss bank accounts

Government reaches deal to access as many as 5,000 UBS accounts that U.S. investors might have used to avoid taxes.
Source: CNN Money

The Internal Revenue Service announced Wednesday that it has reached a deal with the Swiss government, gaining access to thousands of UBS AG accounts that Americans might have used to avoid paying taxes.

“Thousands of taxpayers who avoided paying taxes in the past are being brought into compliance,” said IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman in a teleconference with reporters. “As this agreement demonstrates, the world of international taxes has drastically changed.”

An IRS press release stated that 4,450 accounts held by rich American investors were included in the settlement.

In the teleconference, Shulman said the IRS expects to gain access to a total of more than 5,000 UBS (UBS) accounts, through the IRS-UBS settlement, combined with a voluntary disclosure program and “other sources.” He said these accounts have held $18 billion in assets at one time, though he did not have a current tally for their value.

A UBS spokeswoman would not comment on the value of the accounts and referred questions to a company press release. In the release, UBS Chairman Kaspar Villiger said the settlement “helps to resolve one of UBS’ most pressing issues.”

“I am confident that the agreement will allow the bank to continue moving forward to rebuild its reputation through solid performance and client service,” said Villiger. “UBS welcomes the fact that the information-exchange objectives of the settlement can be achieved in a lawful manner under the existing treaty framework between Switzerland and the United States.”

Read the entire story here.

Advertisements