tax evasion

Did UBS help clients evade taxes for years and years? Yes, it’s a Swiss bank and that’s what Swiss banks do (did?). Is that any reason for France to go all extortionist on its ass? UBS says no. As an aside, a spokesperson from UBS has suggestion that certain French attorneys ought to go back to law school. Read more »

At least 10 Swiss banks have withdrawn from a U.S. programme aimed at settling a tax dispute between them and the United States, Swiss newspaper NZZ am Sonntag said on Sunday, quoting unnamed sources. Around 100 Swiss banks came forward at the end of last year to work with U.S. authorities in a programme brokered by the Swiss government to help the banks make amends for aiding tax evasion. “At least 10 banks that had decided at the end of 2013 to pay a fine have withdrawn their decision,” NZZ am Sonntag said, quoting unnamed lawyers and auditors. It did not name the banks concerned. The newspaper said the banks were convinced they had not systematically broken U.S. law and lawyers of the U.S. Department of Justice had actually been surprised to see them take part in the programme and did not object to the banks leaving the programme. [Reuters]

Several Swiss banks have threatened to freeze American clients’ accounts unless they prove they are, or take steps to become, tax compliant, as the country’s lenders hurry to resolve a tax evasion dispute with the US. The moves – made by a number of banks, according to three people familiar with the situation who did not disclose the identity of the banks involved – come before a deadline at the end of July for banks in a programme set up by the US Department of Justice last year to show which American clients conform to US tax requirements. However, the validity of the banks’ approach has split legal experts. [FT]

  • 28 May 2014 at 10:30 AM

U.S. Tax Authorities Have Skied Enough

The Justice Department’s tax-cheat division is ready for some fun in the sun. Read more »

As you may have heard, yesterday Credit Suisse paid a $2.6 billion fine and pleaded guilty to doing the thing that Swiss banks were put on this earth to do– helping American clients avoid paying taxes by hiding their assets from the IRS. Now, some people might worry that copping to engaging in years of highly illegal activity would cause clients and counterparties to look at the bank differently. In fact, CEO Brady Dougan was one of those people, which caused him to get on the horn and conduct a small poll to see if anyone would have trouble doing business with Credit Suisse moving forward. The great news is that apparently no one gives a shit. Read more »

In related news, the bank is about to plead guilty to helping a whole lot of people avoid paying taxes and fork over $2.5 billion1 to the U.S. government. So, it’s a big day for the Swiss. Read more »

Apparently yesterday’s statement before a Senate subcommittee–wherein Dougan said that neither he nor Credit Suisse executives knew tax evasion was going on, but would nevertheless take responsibility for the few bad apples that had to ruin things for the rest of the group– was not satisfactory, particularly the part where Dougan claimed to just to have no knowledge of the practice. In order to move forward, the group needs to hear Dougan 1. Apologize for the original apology and 2. Say he knew it was going on the whole time, that he weighed in on the best way to hide assets, and maybe offer up pictures of himself on the beach thumbing through a copy of the Credit Suisse Tax Evasion handbook and sipping a pina colada. Follow through on one and two, and all will be forgiven. Read more »