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Swiss offshore case may near settlement

July 14, 2009 by  

Swiss offshore case may near settlement Media reports have suggested UBS, a major Swiss bank, as well as the U.S. and Swiss governments may be about to strike a deal that would help them avoid drawn out court proceedings.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service has filed a lawsuit against the bank in an effort to force it to disclose the identities of thousands of American citizens it suspects of hiding assets in Switzerland and tax evasion.

The bank has already provided the names of about 250 clients and paid the U.S. $780 million in fines related to offshore tax havens, according to FoxBusiness.com.

Now, the three parties had asked a federal court in Miami to postpone a hearing scheduled for July 13 so they can continue settlement talks.

The Justice Department has said any deal "would necessarily include a provision requiring UBS to provide the Internal Revenue Service information on a significant number of individuals with UBS 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 the G20 summit in London in April where global leaders pledged cooperation in pursuing the matter.
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