Washington, DC-based Thorn Law Group Reports that the U.S. and Swiss Reach Deal to End Bank Secrecy: Swiss Banks to Disclose U.S. Account Holder Information

Share Article

On August 30th the US Department of Justice announced that the U.S. and Swiss governments have reached an agreement for Swiss banks to disclose the identities of US account holders and to pay penalties for helping US taxpayers evade taxes – ending Switzerland’s long-standing tradition of strict bank secrecy.

Tax Attorney Thorn advised, "It is far better for you to come forward and enter into the IRS Voluntary Disclosure Program than to be discovered by the IRS or Department of Justice.”

http://www.thorntaxlaw.com August 30th, the U.S. Department of Justice and Swiss authorities announced a deal that will officially end the long tradition of Swiss bank secrecy for countless Americans with undisclosed Swiss bank accounts. On August 29, 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) released a Joint Statement between the U.S. Department of Justice and the Swiss Federal Department of Finance outlining the details of the agreement. For a copy of the joint statement go to http://www.justice.gov/iso/opa/resources/8592013829164213235599.pdf.

The agreement provides that Swiss banks will avoid or defer criminal prosecution by the U.S. on charges of helping U.S. taxpayers to commit tax evasion in exchange for disclosing U.S. taxpayer information and paying penalties and fines that could reach into the several billions of dollars. Yesterday’s deal requires Swiss banks to provide details on accounts in which American persons have an interest, as well as to inform on other banks that transferred money into secret accounts or that accepted money when secret accounts were closed. The agreement also requires Swiss banks to disclose all cross-border activities and to close the accounts of Americans evading taxes. Said U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder of the deal, “This program will significantly enhance the Justice Department’s ongoing efforts to aggressively pursue those who attempt to evade the law by hiding their assets outside of the United States.”

Kevin E. Thorn of Thorn Law Group, PLLC is an attorney who represents numerous U.S. taxpayers who have undisclosed offshore bank accounts around the world. Thorn states, "Now is the time and in fact, possibly that last time, for anyone with an undisclosed offshore account to come forward and enter into the IRS Voluntary Disclosure Program (or IRS Amnesty Program). This historic agreement says loud and clear that the U.S. will find you and your hidden account.” Thorn believes the wide scope of the agreement was motivated by IRS and DOJ frustration over U.S. taxpayers transferring their money to Switzerland’s smaller regional, or cantonal, banks who began marketing to U.S. account holders when Swiss international banking giant UBS, AG turned over U.S. accountholder information.

Bank secrecy is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Between FATCA and agreements like the one announced yesterday, U.S. taxpayers can no longer expect to hide income or assets from the IRS. Thorn projects that “the Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service, will continue to put pressure on all foreign banks to turn over American client information in order to bring United States taxpayers back into compliance."

Any undisclosed offshore account held by a U.S. Taxpayer is open to possible investigation by the IRS for the evasion of federal income taxes, which could lead to severe civil penalties and/or possible criminal incarceration. Advises Mr. Thorn, “U.S. taxpayers with undisclosed offshore accounts face a substantial risk of criminal investigation by not coming forward as soon as possible. It is far better for you to come forward and enter into the IRS Voluntary Disclosure Program than to be discovered by the IRS or Department of Justice.”

For additional information on the news that is the subject of this release, contact Kevin E. Thorn, Managing Partner of Thorn Law Group at 202-270-7273 or visit us at http://www.thorntaxlaw.com

About Thorn Law Group, PLLC: Thorn Law Group, PLLC is a law firm dedicated to helping clients resolve complicated tax, criminal tax, and international tax problems.

Contact:
Kevin E. Thorn
Managing Partner
Thorn Law Group, PLLC
202-270-7273
http://www.thorntaxlaw.com/

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Kevin Thorn
Visit website