Miami FL - Judge: Secret Swiss Bank Accounts Must Be Revealed To The I.R.S
Miami, FL - A federal judge on Tuesday ordered the Swiss banking giant, UBS, to turn over the names of wealthy clients to prosecutors as part of an investigation of its offshore private banking practices.
The ruling, by Judge Joan A. Lenard of Federal District Court in Miami, is a setback for UBS, which is struggling to maintain its tradition of Swiss banking secrecy amid the rapidly unfolding investigation.
It is unclear whether UBS will turn over the names or appeal the ruling.
But the bank said in e-mailed statement Tuesday that “UBS looks forward to working with the I.R.S. to address the summons.”
Federal prosecutors have accused UBS of helping American clients hide $20 billion overseas in secret offshore accounts, evading $300 million or more in taxes.
The Internal Revenue Service and federal prosecutors want UBS to turn over the names of all American clients who had accounts from December 2002 through 2007 at the Swiss offices of UBS, its subsidiaries or affiliates — and for which UBS did not have a tax form known as a W-9.
The request covers any taxpayer with the authority to receive account statements or trade confirmations or to withdraw money from the Swiss-based accounts. And it covers accounts that were not just managed by but also maintained and monitored by UBS. Included in the request are the names of clients for whom UBS did not accurately or timely file 1099 forms, which report income earned, or taxes withheld.
“As we have noted, UBS takes this matter very seriously and is working diligently with both Swiss and U.S. government authorities, consistent with Swiss law and the legal frameworks for intergovernmental cooperation and assistance,“ the UBS statement said.
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