What will UBS share about tax evaders?

Marketplace Staff Aug 14, 2009
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What will UBS share about tax evaders?

Marketplace Staff Aug 14, 2009
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Steve Chiotakis: We’re getting new details this morning about that settlement between federal prosecutors and the Swiss bank UBS. The U.S. had been trying to get its hands on the names of 52,000 Americans thought to be hiding billions of dollars in accounts at the bank. The IRS wants to go after those people with tax evasion. Tamara Keith joining us now from the Marketplace Washington bureau. Good morning Tamara.

Tamara Keith: Good morning.

Chiotakis: So what are these new details we’re hearing about?

Keith: The New York Times cites unnamed sources and says there will be specific criteria for which names are handed over to the U.S. The Times says the list is likely to include clients who set up off-shore entities to evade taxes and those who had contact with bankers in Switzerland at UBS — either in person or by telephone of by e-mail. Accounts over a certain dollar amount are also likely to be included, but it’s not clear what that dollar amount is, and it’s not clear we’ll ever know what that dollar amount is because the IRS doesn’t want anyone to think they’re getting off the hook. And we should say that this case is significant because Switzerland has so carefully protected its bank secrecy laws for so many years.

Chiotakis: And Tamara the Times is also reporting that prosecutors are building this case against 150 wealthy Americans who had money hiding in accounts at UBS. I mean where did those names come from?

Keith: It’s not entirely clear where the government got those names from, but it’s likely that they got them from an earlier case that was settled back in February with UBS, where federal investigators got about 300 names from UBS. Presumably they’ll be getting information on thousands of UBS clients after the settlement that was announced this week is signed, and that’s supposed to happen next week.

Chiotakis: All right Tamara Keith joining us from the Marketplace Washington bureau. Tamara thanks.

Keith: Thank you.

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