Tuesday, November 17, 2009

US Justice Department announces results in UBS case

On the face of it, it's been a day of positive statements on tax. Having already blogged positive noises from the UK, Switzerland and France, now we have this from the U.S. Department of Justice:

"The Justice Department and IRS announced that over 14,700 taxpayers have come forward to report previously-undisclosed foreign bank accounts under the voluntary disclosure program the IRS implemented following the settlement. This figure represents almost double the initial numbers the IRS announced in October and dwarfs the number of voluntary disclosures received in 2008.

The background is this:

"These efforts began in February 2009, with UBS AG’s agreement to enter into a groundbreaking deferred prosecution agreement, admitting guilt on charges of conspiring to defraud the United States by impeding the IRS. As part of the agreement, UBS immediately provided the United States with the identities of, and account information for, a number of U.S. UBS customers and paid $780 million in fines, penalties, interest, and restitution.

To date, the Justice Department has successfully prosecuted six U.S. customers of UBS whose information was provided pursuant to the Deferred Prosecution Agreement, and is conducting investigations of dozens of other UBS customers.

In addition to the deferred prosecution agreement, in August of this year, the IRS, the Justice Department, UBS and the Swiss Government, entered into a similarly landmark agreement, in the John Doe summons action, whereby the IRS was to receive thousands of additional undisclosed UBS accounts."

For details on criteria and such terms as "tax fraud or the like" and "scheme of lies," see the details from Switzerland here and from the U.S. side here.

Update: the details mean this is a great disappointment.

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