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  1. Wealth
November 18, 2009

NYT: 14,700 take up US tax amnesty

By Spear's

Fear, apparently, can be a powerful inducement.

Fear, apparently, can be a powerful inducement.

The Internal Revenue Service said Tuesday that more that 14,700 Americans had been attracted to an amnesty program in recent months and disclosed their secret foreign bank accounts — many more than had been attracted to a previous I.R.S. program.

And the reason, Justice Department and I.R.S. officials said, was the widespread publicity about the agreement in February by the Swiss banking giant UBS to pay $780 million and admit to criminal wrongdoing in selling offshore banking services that had enabled tax evasion. In August, under legal pressure, UBS agreed to turn over the names of about 4,450 American clients suspected by the I.R.S. of using the bank’s offshore services to evade taxes.

UBS clients who did not come forward and whose names are on the bank’s list of accounts face back taxes and fines that can exceed what they own, as well as potential prosecution and jail time.

So it was probably not a surprise that many of the 14,700 who were lured to the I.R.S. amnesty program were UBS clients.

To read the full story, visit

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