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More Swiss Banks Enter Into Non-Prosecution Agreements

More Swiss Banks Enter Into Non-Prosecution Agreements

For many years taxpayers from the United States have used offshore accounts to store assets unreported to the IRS. Recently, there has been a major attempt to crack down on this tax loophole in order to recover billion of dollars in lost tax revenue.

Swiss banks have been the biggest focus, as they allow people from all over the world to store their money without fear of being reported to their home countries. For years, the US has been trying to work with Swiss authorities to find ways to change this behavior without straining international relations.

The Department of Justice recently launched the Swiss Bank program, which aims to encourage banks to work with authorities to enforce tax violations. In exchange for cooperation, the US government has promised many banks that they will not be prosecuted for this behavior.

Participating banks will be responsible for disclosing their history of offshore holdings, pay any related penalties, close and report the accounts of offshore holders to the US, and will have to show compliance with future initiatives and proven processes to flag suspected accounts.

As times continue to change, more and more Swiss banks are joining the program. One of the biggest to recently do so was Rothschild Bank AG in Zurich. For over forty years the bank has been helping US taxpayers set up accounts to hide assets, and they have recently disclosed their past practices to the US.

One trick they used to reduce paper trails was to hold any mail at the bank itself, rather than sending it anywhere. The bank admitted to not reporting taxpayers to the US, and on some occasions even falsely declaring that account holders were not from the US. The bank helped to set up accounts for individuals in the form of foreign entities.

By admitting to this past, Rothschild has agreed to pay over $11 million dollars to the US government, but in exchange won’t be further convicted. However, individual account holders in the bank who still haven’t reported holdings are still subject to sever penalties.

Other Swiss banks that engaged in similar fraudulent activities include Banca Credinvest SA, who has also recently joined the Swiss Bank program. They reported similar past processes in aiding over 30 US taxpayer accounts worth over $20 million to hide unreported assets.

Offshore accounts can be subject to scrutiny by the IRS, and as more and more Swiss banks begin to cooperate, the individual taxpayers with accounts will be subject to prosecution. It is essential to work with a tax attorney like Attorneys Tax Relief LLC who can make sure that you are properly following the procedures required, whether or not your account has been reported to the IRS.