The Swiss Federal Administrative Court ruled that the order to UBS by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) to turn over the names of 250 United States UBS customers accused of committing tax fraud or tax evasion was illegal. The decision may be appealed to the Swiss Supreme Court. You will remember that early last year UBS turned over the names of 250 of its U.S. customers with offshore accounts; the IRS Criminal Investigation Division (CI) reportedly began investigations of about 150 of those persons for potential tax evasion, and failure to file Foreign Bank Account Reports (FBARs). Several of those persons already have pled guilty to criminal tax charges.
If the decision is upheld many U.S. persons will no doubt argue that any prosecution of them on the basis of evidence provided illegally is tainted. Whether that argument will fly remains to be seen. For a copy of the court’s decision (in German) click here: Download file 1 Download file 2 Download file 3 Download file 4 Download file 5 Download file 6
Swiss tax attorneys have been quoted as saying that the court’s order will have no effect on those 4,450 names being turned over pursuant to the agreement entered into between UBS, and the IRS last August.