Swiss Bank Accounts Soon To Be Not So Secret?

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Aug. 28 2013 7:31 PM

Swiss Bank Accounts Soon To Be Not So Secret? New Deal Could Out U.S. Tax Evaders.

171422343
A sign of HSBC private bank (Suisse) in the center of Geneva.

Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. and Switzerland have reportedly struck a deal that could out Americans who have stashed money in Swiss bank accounts to avoid paying U.S. taxes. The agreement would resolve a long running dispute where the U.S. government has pursued tax evaders that have assets in the famously secretive Swiss banking system. Switzerland is the world’s largest offshore financial center with some $2.2 trillion in assets, according to Bloomberg.

The 14 Swiss banks currently under investigation by the Justice Department would not be covered under the new agreement. Some 300 other Swiss banks, however, would have the option to self-disclose “extensive information about their American clients, the value of their accounts and any help they received from tax professionals,” according to the AP.

Advertisement

The Wall Street Journal reports that, according to a senior official, the U.S. could collect up to $1 billion or more in penalties under the agreement and “depending on the degree of wrongdoing, the penalties could range from 20% to 50% of the highest balances in U.S. taxpayers' accounts.”

The deal covers transactions between 2008 and 2014 and comes in anticipation of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (Facta) that goes into effect in 2014, requiring foreign banks to disclose information on U.S. taxpayers.

 Both Swiss and U.S. officials expect the agreement to be finalized in “the coming days,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Doublex

Crying Rape

False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

No, New York Times, Shonda Rhimes Is Not an “Angry Black Woman” 

Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 1:39 PM Shonda Rhimes Is Not an “Angry Black Woman,” New York Times. Neither Are Her Characters.

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B

How Will You Carry Around Your Huge New iPhone? Apple Pants!

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Television

The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

There’s a Way to Keep Ex-Cons Out of Prison That Pays for Itself. Why Don’t More States Use It?

Why Men Can Never Remember Anything

The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Why Men Can Never Remember Anything
Behold
Sept. 19 2014 11:33 AM An Up-Close Look at the U.S.–Mexico Border
  News & Politics
Foreigners
Sept. 19 2014 1:56 PM Scotland’s Attack on the Status Quo Expect more political earthquakes across Europe.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 19 2014 3:24 PM Why Innovators Hate MBAs
  Life
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 5:03 PM White House Chief Information Officer Will Run U.S. Ebola Response
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 12:13 PM The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola  The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.