Switzerland Proposes Tax Evasion Crackdown

01 Mar 2013


Immigration News

The Swiss government has proposed legislation that would extend the reach of money laundering laws to cover tax evasion and would require banks to perform enhanced due diligence to ensure customers’ tax compliance.

The legislation, announced Wednesday, would also ban cash payments of 100,000 Swiss Francs or more and require such payments to be processed by a financial intermediary.

The announcement comes after a string of scandals involving Swiss banks allegedly hiding assets of foreign customers allowing them to avoid taxes in their home countries.  UBS AG, UBS -0.75% the nation’s biggest lender by assets, in 2009 admitted wrongdoing in helping Americans hide money from tax authorities. UBS agreed to turn over the names of more than 4,500 U.S. account holders and paid a $780 million fine. Credit Suisse Group has put aside $325 million to settle a similar U.S. probe.

The Swiss Bankers Association welcomed most of the legislation but said it opposed a proposal requiring banks to review existing customer relationships for tax compliance.

“The strategy of tax-compliant assets is forward-looking and should hinder the influx of untaxed new assets and should not be applied retroactively,” the group said in a news release Wednesday. ” Under no circumstances should it be extended to include the unilateral solution for the past.”

http://blogs.wsj.com/corruption-currents/2013/02/28/switzerland-proposes-tax-evasion-crack-down/


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