criminal investigation into Americans who used Swiss bank accounts
Original post made by Full Circle, Ruby Hill, on Aug 19, 2009
UBS to hand over names of 5,000 U.S. clients to IRS, DOJ
U.S. settlement doesn't include monetary fine for Swiss banking giant
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - UBS AG agreed to give the U.S. Internal Revenue Service an "unprecedented amount" of information on thousands of U.S. holders of accounts at the Swiss banking group as part of a settlement with the Swiss government, the IRS announced Wednesday.
The agreement comes as U.S. tax authorities conduct a criminal investigation into Americans who used Swiss bank accounts of UBS /quotes/comstock/13*!ubs/quotes/nls/ubs (UBS 15.79, -0.11, -0.69%) /quotes/comstock/!ubsn (CH:UBSN 16.90, +0.42, +2.55%) to avoid paying U.S. taxes.
The settlement follows demands from the U.S. authorities that the bank hand over details on thousands of customers. U.S. tax authorities will gain access to 4,450 accounts of U.S. individuals who have accounts with UBS, according to the settlement.
However, the agency expects to have access to hundreds of additional accounts through other agreements. An IRS official said the number of U.S. clients could be in the "high 5000s."
"Wealthy Americans who have hidden their money offshore will find themselves in a jam," said IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman. "You can expect us to continue to be aggressive with institutions that are helping Americans avoid taxes."