IRS wants millions hidden in Swiss accounts

Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by crgarcia, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. IRS wants millions hidden in Swiss accountsStory Highlights

    IRS believes $20 billion worth of assets could be hidden in Swiss accounts

    Ex-UBS banker's guilty plea suggested there are "undeclared" accounts

    Justice has filed "John Doe" summonses in Florida court to get at the accounts

    The U.S. is trying to cooperate with the Swiss government

    From Terry Frieden
    CNN Justice Producer

    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Internal Revenue Service is taking the unprecedented step of seeking Swiss bank records in search of what it suspects could be up to $20 billion worth of assets hidden by U.S. taxpayers.

    The Justice Department is seeking Swiss bank accounts of Americans who may be hiding assets.

    Justice Department lawyers said late Monday that they had filed court documents in Miami, Florida, asking a judge to allow the IRS to get information from the banking giant UBS.

    U.S. investigators are seeking permission for the first time to serve what are called "John Doe" summonses to obtain information about possible tax fraud against taxpayers whose identities are not known.

    Information stemming from a guilty plea by a former UBS banker last week in Miami suggests the Zurich-based bank had "undeclared" accounts of U.S. taxpayers estimated at about $20 billion. Court documents indicate the IRS is interested in gaining information about taxpayer accounts at UBS during the years 2002 to 2007.

    Deputy Assistant Attorney General John DiCicco said the U.S. government is trying to cooperate with the Swiss government and the bank. But he added, "We are prepared to seek enforcement if that process is not successful."

    IRS tries to reach millions about stimulus checks
    U.S. tax laws require any accounts abroad worth more than $10,000 to be reported -- and penalties call for up to half of the amount in a hidden account to be forfeited.

    A Justice Department official said government tax attorneys have no estimate how many taxpayers may be hiding funds.

    "Offshore accounts harbor billions of dollars and people should take notice that the secrecy surrounding these deals is rapidly fading," IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said in a written statement released through the Justice Department.
  2. Get rid of the Income tax and the IRS

    Haven't we put up with enough of the personal attacks on our freedom? The WAR ON PRIVACY has lasted way too long.
  3. Amen brother.
  4. 9999


    Interesting article, but I doubt something serious will come out of it. Smells more like propaganda, to me. Who are those Americans that can afford a Swiss bank acct and why?
    Definitely not your average Joe Schmuck.
  5. RhinoGG

    RhinoGG Guest

    They can have my Swiss Bank account....when they pry it from my cold, dead, hands.
  6. Am I missing something? When was the last time in the last 5 centuries that Swiss bankers divulged account information to anyone?

    I'm not sure they even cooperated with Nazi hunters after WWII
  7. As they did in WWII:

    They may give away some millions with no names, or bogus names, saying hey!, we just have the account numbers.
  8. hughb


    What law is the IRS using to get a judge to order a bank to disclose this info? As far as I know, and I could be wrong, it is perfectly legal for foreign banks to withold account information from the US govt.
  9. hughb


    OK, this is what I was looking for -

  10. The law is called the "big stick" statute. Basically, the SEC and Treasury can just threaten UBS' with loss of their US securities license I suppose. I'm sure that would get UBS to pay attention at least.
    #10     Jul 1, 2008