Salient to Investors:
Kathryn Keneally at the Justice Department said taxpayers who still believe they can hide secret Swiss bank accounts from the IRS are beyond foolish, and Switzerland is no longer a good place to hide assets for tax reasons.
Fourteen firms, including Credit Suisse, HSBC, and are under criminal investigation.
A US Senate report estimated in 2008 that secret offshore accounts used to evade taxes costs the Treasury at least $100 billion annually.
Bryan Skarlatos at Kostelanetz & Fink said that when the US seeks information from Swiss banks, it is fair to assume that Swiss bank secrecy has been largely compromised, so US taxpayers cannot take any comfort that their information will be protected by bank secrecy.
Ed Robbins at Hochman, Salkin, Rettig, Toscher & Perez said the purpose of secret Swiss accounts was to hide assets from creditors, business partners, spouses or the government, and US taxpayers cannot count on having that secrecy anywhere in Switzerland. Robbins said the Swiss are hemorrhaging bank records on American taxpayers at all levels, and the Swiss bank voluntary disclosure program is just another way of disclosing information on American taxpayers. Robbins said the US program is a very clever idea.
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