Swiss banks reported near deal to supply info on U.S. clients

One of the largest initiatives by the Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Justice Department to enforce tax laws may be about to get a boost. According to recent reports, there are a number of large Swiss banks lining up to cooperate with U.S. efforts in identifying Americans who may hold funds in non-compliant foreign bank accounts.

It's a development that may have serious implications for some taxpayers in the Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., area who may have unreported income in such accounts. Such potential tax controversies can be dealt with, and the rights of individuals best protected, with the help of experienced legal counsel who can help explore the possible options and take appropriate action.  

What prompts this observation is a report by The Wall Street Journal that earlier this month. The paper cites sources familiar with events as saying that the Swiss Cabinet is ready to allow a group of Swiss banks under U.S. investigation to reveal limited information about some accounts.

As readers likely know, Swiss banking is noted for its secrecy. But under terms of the reported program, the banks in question have, or will be allowed to seek a waiver of Swiss law. As a result, they'd be able to turn over "leaver lists" –- aggregated data about accounts held by U.S. clients that have been transferred to other institutions.

The full implications of the development are somewhat hard to gauge, but it is reported that such well-known companies as Credit Suisse Group AG and Julius Baer Group AG may be possible participants.  

Source: Reuters.com, "Swiss banks near deal on U.S. tax information -WSJ," Kevin Drawbaugh, July 11, 2013

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