The Justice Department has unveiled the details of the agreement it recently struck with Swiss bank UBS regarding the disclosure of the names of American citizens suspected of hiding assets in its accounts.
It has been announced that based on a treaty request that will be submitted to the Swiss government UBS will turn over the names of almost all of the accounts the IRS requested last summer when it initiated the so-called John Doe summons.
The request will cover bank-only accounts, custody accounts in which investment assets were held and offshore company nominee accounts through which an individual indirectly held beneficial ownership in the accounts.
Judicial enforcement of the John Doe summons will be terminated, however the government has retained the right to resume the action if the information it receives is substantially less than expected.
Account holders whose data ends up relayed to the IRS will receive notifications from the bank on a rolling basis in the next few months. However, those who received a notice will still be eligible to contact the IRS under the Voluntary Disclosure Program which offers to lower the penalty and, under certain circumstances, shield an individual from prosecution. They will have to do so by September 23, when the program is due to expire.
For those whose information it receives, the IRS will assess any additional tax, interest and the applicable penalties, including for willful failure to file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts.