Credit Suisse, a Swiss bank, has been under scrutiny for allegedly helping wealthy Americans hide their money on Swiss bank accounts to evade tax payments. Other Swiss banks, aside from Credit Suisse, are also under investigation due to the allegation of helping Americans stash cash on Swiss bank accounts.
Naming Account Holders
US authorities want Credit Suisse and other Swiss banks to name the Americans who have deposited untaxed money on these banks. The authorities demanded that the names be given to be able to determine wealthy US citizens who are evading tax obligations and be able to file appropriate cases.
- Guilty Plea
The case against Credit Suisse became intense when a former employee of the company pleaded guilty on helping US citizens stash away untaxed money by depositing the latter on Swiss bank accounts.
This strengthened the US authority demand for the names of the US citizens who have sought help from Swiss banks in evading taxes. Thus, US authorities are pressuring Credit Suisse on giving out the names and providing appropriate information to aide in the prevention of tax evasion of US citizens. Citing extreme fines, the US authorities are trying to squeeze out information from the bank. Other Swiss banks are also subject on this tax probe, which are also deemed to have helped wealthy US citizens stash untaxed money on Swiss accounts.
- Swiss Bank Laws
Swiss banks cannot provide information regarding their depositors due to the laws that bar banks from disclosing such information. But an exemption was made in 2009 when the Swiss authorities provided the US authorities the information of their rival’s clients. The exemption was made to prevent the US from indicting the bank.
The exemption five years ago indicated that Swiss banks are able to provide their clients’ information to the US authorities if need be. Thus, the US authorities are putting pressure on Credit Suisse to get the same results from 2009. This puts a lot of pressure on Credit Suisse and also on other Swiss banks that have helped US citizens in evading tax obligations.
- Emergency Law
Though the spokesman of Credit Suisse has not given comment regarding the emergency law, reports have emerged that the bank was asking for the Swiss government to use the exemption if there are no other solution to the issue.
- Discussions Between Swiss Finance and US Justice
Swiss Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf and U.S. Justice Minister Eric Holder discussed the tax row that Swiss banks are currently facing yet no specific conclusions had been released to the public. The discussions yet revealed that the Swiss Finance Minister was seeking fair and equal treatment of Swiss banks regarding the probe.
The US authorities are yet to discover the names of the wealthy US citizens who were able to hide their untaxed money on Swiss banks accounts depending on the outcome of the trial. Yet, authorities are optimistic that they will be able to unearth the truth and discover the citizens who are evading their tax obligations.