Orange County tax fraud attorneys were watching the latest development in taxation of offshore bank accounts. The United States government thought they had a deal with banking giant UBS and the Swiss government to root out tax evasion and tax fraud by Americans with Swiss bank accounts.
The deal fell through when the Swiss parliament rejected an out-of-court settlement. The deal would have revealed the identities of 4,450 Americans suspected of using offshore accounts in Switzerland to commit tax evasion.
A spokesman for the Internal Revenue Service, Frank Keith, said, "We continue to monitor the events in Switzerland, and we stand ready to pursue all legal options available to us should the Swiss fail to provide the required information."
US authorities originally filed suits to force UBS to hand over information on 52,000 clients:
In an August 2009 deal, the bank agreed to identify 4,450.
After a Swiss court ruled in January 2010 that Swiss authorities could not reveal details about one of the Americans with a UBS account, the whole deal for the 4,450 came into question.
The August settlement stopped the US government's lawsuit, but if more suits are filed to try to block the disclosure of the 4,450 names, the US government may revive the suit.
UBS and the Swiss authorities have until mid-August 2010 to reveal the names and account information, so the lawsuit would not be revived before then.
- Source: The Nation (Thailand) "Switzerland rejects US-UBS tax evasion deal" June 10, 2010; New York Times "Swiss Ruling Jeopardizes Deal for UBS Clients' Names" January 22, 2010 aar