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Eversheds comment: US/Switzerland tax probe agreement emphasises power of US in tackling tax evasion

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    On news that the US and Switzerland have reached an agreement to allow some Swiss banks to pay fines to avoid or defer prosecution over tax evasion by their US customers, Ben Jones, tax expert at global law firm Eversheds, comments:

    “This agreement represents further progress for the US in breaking down Swiss banking secrecy and extracting information on potential US tax evaders. It further emphasises the political and economic clout of the US in tackling tax evasion.

    “This agreement and previous prosecutions of Swiss banks have succeeded in both obtaining vital information about US citizens with Swiss bank accounts and professional advisers that assist with potential tax evasion, as well as significant payments from such Swiss banks. This is in stark contrast with the recent UK/Swiss tax agreement which, although providing for Swiss banks to make payments to the UK in respect of UK account holders, importantly does not require the Swiss banks to pierce the banking secrecy veil and disclose details of relevant account holders or their professional advisors.”

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