July 14, 2009
Monique Perry Danziger, +1 202 293 0740 ext. 222
WASHINGTON, DC – Global Financial Integrity (GFI) issued recommendations for next steps in the UBS tax evasion case following postponement of Monday’s key court hearing.
“Everyone is wondering how many more names will be released and how much money UBS is going to end-up paying to settle this matter,” said GFI director Raymond Baker. “If the Department of Justice believes a settlement is necessary it should come to the table with more demands then a simple fine.”
In considering options for a successful compromise GFI issues the following recommendations:
- UBS pays back taxes owed to the U.S. on the $14.8 billion in assets estimated to be held in the 52,000 undisclosed accounts from 2001 to 2007;
- UBS agrees to deduct taxes from future earnings on the 52,000 accounts of U.S. citizens at the highest marginal tax rate of 35 percent and pay annually to the U.S. Treasury;
- UBS agrees from this point forward to report names and incomes earned on all new U.S. accounts opened.
Citing the recently announced agreement to update the existing U.S.-Swiss tax treaty Mr. Baker added, “As its worded now, this much-touted “new agreement” still hamstrings tax enforcement authorities by placing the onus of disclosure on the U.S. The U.S. should push Switzerland to agree to provide information on all new accounts opened by U.S. citizens.”
“The entanglements and diplomatic impasse in this case point to a larger problem in the existing protocols governing U.S.-Swiss tax-related information-sharing and an overall lack of financial transparency,” said Mr. Baker. “The U.S. has an opportunity to bring about change that will prevent this kind of judicial boondoggle in the future.”