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Adstoppi Blog | Swiss Banking And Finance

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Since Switzerland banks freeze tens of thousands of bank account held by foreigners before tax disclosure regulations that are impending or shut down, their compliance officials face a learning curve that is challenging. After over 80 years of the secret bank accounts which made the nation the worlds most famous tax haven, the private banking industry should now adopt a new era of transparency under pressure mostly from the OECD automatic exchange of data and Americas Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. These steps need exchanges of taxation info with over a hundred countries and the US. So with the AEI compliance sections are learning attitudes in addition to new regulations.

Fines - But why are freezing accounts or the banks? The reason is they fear fines by justice authorities in other states, and especially in the USA. As Zurich based law firm Caputo & Partners points out, its a new ball game. Swiss banking secrecy will protect account of customers who've dedicated tax evasion at home or tax funds, it warns. Banks have sent letters warning them to disclose the presence of the accounts and to become tax compliant or, failing that, to shut it down. Several banks are freezing account pending hefty fines or requests for back taxes that can be imposed on their clients.

Even though this is apparently illegal, they are doing it anyway so that they do not fall foul of that the US justice system. Whatever action is taken, that the compliance pitfalls are considerable. As Caputo & Partners notes, there is a big conflict of interest between clients with undeclared funds and his Swiss bank. Understandably, bankers are worried regarding prosecution that of themselves as well as of their customers. That's why most Swiss personal banks also have qualified for a non-prosecution program developed by the United States of Justice. This requires them to come clean and compliance officials might find themselves standing in the middle.

Most are advising American customers to submit all reform forms after that the fact better to file late than not at all or qualify for an offshore voluntary reform programme. If clients drag their legs, some banks are making the reform for them, which of course puts that the client in that the worst possible light together with the IRS. Pillar - By any definition, the disappearance of the secret or numbered banking accounts marks a turning point in that the fight against tax evasion. Even though other jurisdictions like Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, and Singapore also have long enforced privacy laws in banking, Switzerland started all of it off in 1934. Ever since then secret bank account has been a mainstay of the country's world-leading personal banking sector. No other nation enforced anonymous accounts so comprehensively.

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