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 [...]