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Bank not giving up on offshore opportunities

May 4, 2009 by  

Bank not giving up on offshore opportunities A Swiss bank at the center of U.S. tax authorities’ investigation into secret offshore accounts has asked a U.S. court to reject demands by the IRS for confidential information about its American clients.

UBS plans to argue before a federal court in Florida that such a disclosure would violate Switzerland’s bank secrecy laws, according to media reports.

"Despite the clear historical record, the IRS now asks this court to force a Swiss financial institution and its employees, over the express objection of the Swiss government, to violate Swiss law by producing a massive quantity of confidential account information located exclusively in Switzerland," UBS said in its filing.

According to Reuters, under a 1996 treaty, Switzerland may turn over account data only on a reasonable suspicion of tax fraud. However, Swiss law does not view tax evasion as a crime.

The IRS is pursuing a civil lawsuit against UBS seeking access to data on 52,000 wealthy Americans it claims are hiding nearly $15 billion of assets in Swiss bank accounts.

The U.S. government’s crackdown on what it sees as tax havens was prompted by the financial crisis and the costly stimulus bill as well as several rounds of bailouts that need to be paid for.

It gathered steam after last month’s G20 summit in London where global leaders pledged cooperation in pursuing the matter.

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  • ti vanovickoyo

    once again, the US is meddling in another countries business. turn the tables, would we release the names of Swiss citizens who had accounts in the US banks?? What if the EU countries demanded those names from us so they could tax them in their own country. would we give them up???No way. It would break our privacy laws. also, our banks would collape if the foreigners took their money out of our banking system.

    the US is a big tax haven. non-resident aliens pay no capital gains or dividend taxes on money earned in the US. Let’s stay out of another countries business. if we don’t want the rich people to put their money in Swiss banks, we must give an incentive to keep their money here. why should we bully another country, but it’s what we do best. The world needs tax competition,
    look for a world wide surge in taxes if there is no tax competition go to http://www.cato.org

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