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Offshore Tax Evasion: The Effort to Collect Unpaid Taxes on Billions in Hidden Offshore Accounts: Congressional Report
Carl Levin (ed)
Report of an investigation of offshore tax abuse, including U.S. taxpayers using hidden offshore accounts. In 2008 and 2009, a bipartisan report was released examining how some tax haven banks were deliberately helping U.S. customers hide their assets offshore to evade U.S. taxes. It focused on two tax haven banks, UBS AG, the largest bank in Switzerland, and LGT, a private bank owned by the royal family of Liechtenstein. UBS acknowledged its role in facilitating U.S. tax evasion, apologized for its wrongdoing, and promised to end it. UBS paid a $780 million fine, and turned over about 4,700 accounts with U.S. client names. It also committed to disclosing to the IRS all future accounts opened for U.S. persons. Significant progress has been made in the effort to combat offshore tax abuses. Congress enacted the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which requires foreign banks to either disclose their U.S. customer accounts on an automatic, annual basis or pay a 30% tax on their U.S. investment income. However, Switzerland severely restricts the ability of Swiss banks to disclose the names of U.S. customers with undeclared Swiss accounts. This report assesses U.S. efforts to combat offshore tax evasion through hidden foreign accounts, in particular, undeclared Swiss accounts. It uses as a case study a major Swiss bank, Credit Suisse, that was deeply involved in facilitating U.S. tax evasion and whose unnamed U.S. customers continue to owe unpaid U.S. taxes on billions of dollars in hidden assets. Figures. This is a print on demand report.
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