Marketplace Scratch Pad

Come out, come out wherever you are

Scott Jagow Jun 19, 2009

People who hide money in Swiss banks might be in for a rude awakening soon. Today, the Treasury Department announced a new deal to share more tax information with Switzerland – the goal being to root out tax evaders.

The tax treaty still has to be signed by both countries, but there’s a development that could cause problems. From USA Today:

The negotiations over a strengthened tax treaty were taking place as U.S. authorities have been pressing (Swiss bank) UBS to hand over the names of 52,000 clients suspected of tax evasion.

A federal judge in Miami has scheduled hearings July 13-15 on the Internal Revenue Service’s attempt to obtain the names of the 52,000 U.S. account holders. The Swiss government had claimed in court filings that the case might jeopardize the progress of the tax treaty talks and that turning over the names would violate Swiss law.

The treaty seems to be part of an Obama administration’s strategy to track down every lost dollar of tax revenue that might be out there. Hardly surprising, considering the deficit projections for this year. The Treasury also just did tax information exchange deals with Gibraltar and Luxembourg.

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