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Tag Archive for Switzerland

U.S. And Switzerland Tax Deal Ratified After Congress Finally Approves It

US And Switzerland Tax Treaty

The U.S. Treasury Department on Friday announced that a long-in-the-works tax treaty with Switzerland has at last been signed and has entered into force, alongside a tax deal with Luxembourg.

The tax treaty had originally been approved by the Swiss Parliament in June, 2010, but had been held up on the U.S. side over concerns that it potentially violated the privacy of individuals whose information, under the agreement, will now be freely exchanged.

The deal means that Washington will now be in a position to request information from the Swiss authorities on American accounts going back ten years.

In a statement on Friday, the Treasury Department said the two protocols would bring the existing tax treaties that the U.S. already has with Luxembourg and Switzerland “into closer conformity with current U.S. tax treaty policy, to allow for greater tax information exchange that will enhance efforts to bolster tax compliance and combat tax evasion.”

The protocols with Luxembourg and Switzerland – in addition to protocols with Japan and Spain that were also signed recently – are the first updates to to the U.S.’s income tax treaty regime in nearly 10 years.

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New York City Resident Pleads Guilty to Using Sham Foreign Entity to Evade Taxes

A New York City man pleaded guilty today to a criminal information charging him with tax evasion for tax years 2003 through 2005 and 2007 through 2010, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo, head of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, and U.S. Attorney Robert L. Capers of the Eastern District of New York.

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America’s Most-Wanted Swiss Bankers

At least 21 financial advisers in Switzerland are charged with aiding American tax dodgers are at large. Fearing arrest if they leave Switzerland they essentially are imprisoned within the borders of that country.

For decades, Switzerland has occupied an outsize role in the world of shady international finance. The country’s strict secrecy laws have made it the offshore banking destination of choice for U.S. tax evaders. The Swiss Bankers Association estimates that Swiss banks still hold at least $2 trillion that customers haven’t declared to tax authorities in their home countries. They say that you’re not a self-respecting Swiss bank if you don’t have some dodgy money floating around your system. Read more

A Clash of Mammoth Proportions: In One Corner, Switzerland’s Tradition of Bank Secrecy… The Other, FATCA

While the Swiss banking system’s reputation for hiding numbered bank accounts under a cloak of anonymity was once considered sacrosanct, the seal was broken on its banking secrecy back in 2013 when it signed an international agreement with the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) to fight tax evasion. Since then, other international agreements, such as the FATCA, have continued to chip away at the remaining vestiges of bank secrecy deeply ingrained within Swiss culture.

Have these agreements marked the end of bank secrecy in Switzerland? Not necessarily, according to a recent article appearing in the New York Times. The article, entitled Swiss Banks’ Tradition of Secrecy Clashes With Quests Abroad for Disclosure, here, examines the fallout to Swiss bankers who have implemented these anti-tax evasion policies. Read more

Former Credit Suisse Banker Pleads Guilty

Josef Dörig, 72, of Switzerland, pleaded guilty on April 30th to conspiring to defraud the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in connection with his work as the owner of Dorig Partner AG, a trust company in Switzerland.

In a statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, Dörig admitted that between 1997 and 2011, while owning and operating a trust company, he engaged in a wide-ranging conspiracy to aid and assist U.S. customers in evading their income taxes by concealing assets and income in secret bank accounts held in the names of sham entities at Credit Suisse.  In 1997, the Credit Suisse subsidiary spun off these sham entities into a trust company, Dorig Partner AG, owned and operated by Dorig, the Justice Department said. Read more