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  1. Wealth
November 16, 2009

Bloomberg: Switz to reveal US tax evasion criteria

By Spear's

Nov. 16 (Bloomberg) — Switzerland will release the criteria used to turn over details of an estimated 4,450 UBS AG accounts to the Internal Revenue Service tomorrow, revealing the U.S. model for chasing tax evaders in other banks and jurisdictions.

Nov. 16 (Bloomberg) — Switzerland will release the criteria used to turn over details of an estimated 4,450 UBS AG accounts to the Internal Revenue Service tomorrow, revealing the U.S. model for chasing tax evaders in other banks and jurisdictions.

There may be as many as a dozen criteria, said William Sharp, a lawyer at Sharp & Associates in Tampa, Florida, based on the profiles of clients who were notified their account details may be turned over. They probably include accounts with more than 1 million Swiss francs ($988,000) and those set up through structures such as foreign trusts or foundations, he said.

“It’s already the template on which the IRS is pursuing banks in other countries,” Sharp said. “It will serve as a big wake up call for any taxpayer found in one of those disjunctive positions.”

Red flags at UBS may have included accounts opened with non- U.S. passports, customers who were visited in the U.S. by UBS bankers, and accounts annotated “hold mail,” indicating clients who didn’t want to receive possibly incriminating correspondence, according to interviews with lawyers whose clients were notified that their account details may be turned over to the IRS.

Switzerland and the U.S. probably used a point system under which the most important criteria, such as a having $50 million in an account, were enough to trigger disclosure by themselves while it required several less important measures to do so, the lawyers said.

To read the full story, visit bloomberg.com

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