The Swiss Federal Administrative Court has blocked Swiss Bank Julius Baer from turning over one of its client’s Bloomberg News.
On April 17, 2013 the IRS had submitted a request for administrative assistance to the Swiss Federal Tax Authority (SFTA) requesting that it order Julius Baer to turn over information on accounts “owned through a domiciliary company” and held at any time between the beginning of 2002 and the end of 2012. The SFTA granted the request, and ordered Julius Baer to turn over the Swiss bank account data. At least two clients appealed the SFTA order. The news was not good for one of the account holders, because the court ruled that his appeal had been filed late and, therefore, the original SFTA order was valid. Presumably that individual’s information will be on its way to the IRS in due course with a Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR) has been filed?
It does not mean that their previous blog post, many Swiss Banks will be turning over information about their account holders in order to avoid being indicted in the U.S.
Swiss banks had until December 31, 2013 to notify the Department of Justice that they wished to enter its voluntary disclosure program in order to avoid prosecution. Although the Swiss banks are not required to publicly announce whether they are entering the program, some news reports have suggested that as many as 60 banks had signed up by late December.
Another problem for foreign bank account owners who wish to attempt to block IRS efforts is that they are required under U.S. law to notify the U.S. Attorney General about any such efforts. Of course, the notification would defeat the entire idea. By not notifying the Attorney General, anyone who takes this route is raising the stakes if, for any reason, the attempt to block the information transfer is unsuccessful.
If you have an offshore account anywhere in the world, and want to discuss all of your options including the IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program contact the Click here to Subscribe to the Free Online Publication, The Tax Terminator. It will keep you abreast of events that are making the news and perhaps affecting you or your business.
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