Tuesday, January 28, 2014, we posted Offshore Swiss Bank Account? This May Be Your Last Chance To File A Voluntary Disclosure! Where we discussed that the United States Justice Department has received 106 requests from Swiss entities to participate in a Settlement Program aimed at ending a long-running probe of tax-dodging by Americans using Swiss bank accounts according to a senior us official.
Now Barclays private bank in Switzerland became the latest bank to say it would work with United States officials in a crackdown on wealthy Americans evading taxes through hidden offshore accounts.
The British lender is a rare foreign bank in Switzerland to admit to signing up to a scheme brokered by the Swiss and U.S. governments in August in order to make amends for aiding tax evasion.
“Barclays Bank (Suisse) SA and Barclays Bank plc Geneva Branch are participating in the programme, which requires a structured review of U.S. accounts,” Barclays said in its annual report, disclosed on Tuesday along with 12,000 jobs cuts.
The deadline to complete the review is April 30, Barclays said. It did not elaborate on whether its American clients hid assets through offshore accounts in Switzerland.
The programme, which requires the banks to hand out some previously hidden information and potentially face penalties of up to 50 percent of assets they managed on behalf of U.S. clients, has already brought a host of Swiss banks to come forward.
HSBC Holdings PLC’s Swiss arm is in the crosshairs of a U.S. probe, which also targets Credit Suisse, Julius Baer and unlisted rivals such as Pictet. However, attention has since shifted to the wider Swiss banking industry under the program.
Thus US taxpayers who have used Barclays accounts may now want to consider applying for the US Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP), which sets a limit to the penalties imposed on them by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for failing to declare foreign assets and earnings.
However, once Barclays has disclosed an account holder’s name to the IRS, OVDP election is no longer available to that account holder.
Taxpayers who wish to take advantage of the OVDP must act quickly!
The US Can Use Swiss Data for Enforcement Actions!
The new agreement makes clear that “personal data provided by the Swiss banks… will be used and disclosed only for purposes of law enforcement (which may include regulatory action) in the United States or as otherwise permitted by US law.”
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