So Long Secret Swiss Bank Accounts

Swiss Banks are now requesting to disclose account contents for tax purposes. What happened to their cloak of secrecy? Jeffrey S. Freeman, J.D., LL.M The United States started the investigation in Switzerland accusing banks of aiding their clients in avoiding their tax responsibilities. Several years later this is more than just an investigation. Billions of dollars in fines, new legislation, reporting requirements for financial institutions, and intergovernmental agreements are proof that this problem was widespread in Switzerland and other countries. On a global scale the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) developed the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes back in 2000. Increased momentum and involvement from member jurisdictions has improved along with the speed of the FATCA development. In July a Common Reporting Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information in Tax Matters was released asking governments to secure detailed account information from their financial institutions for exchange with the appropriate jurisdiction of the residence of the account holders on an annual basis. Swiss Request Now the tables have turned and Swiss banks are requesting that the government create agreements with neighboring countries. The head of Switzerland's banking association is requesting this [...]

By | 2017-01-01T11:26:58+00:00 October 16th, 2014|Freeman Tax Law|Comments Off on So Long Secret Swiss Bank Accounts

Hong Kong joins the FATCA and Global Transparency Movement

In efforts improve tax transparency and combat cross-border tax evasion Hong Kong joins in global transparency Jeffrey S. Freeman, J.D., LL.M Like a snowball rolling down the mountain, the push for global transparency is continuing to gain momentum. Countries are recognizing the advantages and need for global tax transparency in order to combat cross-border tax evasion. FATCA Now legally in force, FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) was created by the United States to discourage and fight the war on tax evasion. It is estimated that the U.S. economy suffers a $500 billion loss annually due to tax evasion on foreign source income and assets hidden outside the country. FATCA requires foreign financial institutions (banks, insurers, and investment funds) to send the IRS information about offshore accounts of Americans. The United States has entered into Inter-Governmental Agreements (IGAs) with 43 countries and has reached agreements in substance with an additional 58 countries. Earlier this year the count was below thirty countries, FATCA is gaining momentum. OECD With the increased global concern raised by FATCA over the use of foreign accounts to evade government taxation a group of the twenty biggest economic powers requested that the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and [...]

By | 2017-01-01T11:27:00+00:00 October 13th, 2014|Freeman Tax Law|Comments Off on Hong Kong joins the FATCA and Global Transparency Movement
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