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UBS Will Disclose Names of Nearly 4,500 Suspected Tax Evaders

Posted Aug 19, 2009 10:27 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Swiss bank UBS is expected to disclose the names and account information for more than 4,450 Americans suspected of trying to evade taxes with secret offshore accounts.

The Internal Revenue Service revealed the numbers as the settlement was finalized today, according to the New York Times and the Washington Post. The account holders have until Sept. 23 to take part in a voluntary disclosure program offering reduced penalties.

Under the agreement, the Justice Department will drop its lawsuit against UBS and pursue information through a tax treaty negotiated between Switzerland and the United States, the Post says. The deal also allows the Swiss government to work with other banks to disclose Americans who may be hiding wealth overseas.

A post on Reuters Blogs suggests that Singapore and other new banking centers that offer secrecy will benefit from the deal. "For the Swiss, the chief attraction of this deal is that it allows them to claim that bank secrecy is upheld,: the story says. "After all, they already had agreements in place allowing an exchange of information in the case of suspected tax fraud. They can say that handing over these names is nothing new, but few will be convinced."

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