Swiss working with IRS to find hidden American money

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Could this be a boon to mattress makers? (You know, because people will have to hide money in them instead of offshore accounts.)

In case you were thinking of hiding money offshore in Switzerland, better think again. Uncle Sam has worked out a deal with Swiss.

Here’s the announcement:
The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced today that it has signed a bilateral agreement with Switzerland to facilitate the implementation of the information reporting and withholding tax provisions commonly known as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).

“Today’s announcement marks a significant step forward in our efforts to work collaboratively to combat offshore tax evasion,” said Acting Secretary of the Treasury Neal S. Wolin. “We are pleased that Switzerland has signed a bilateral agreement with us, and we look forward to quickly concluding agreements based on this model with other jurisdictions.”

Enacted by Congress in 2010, FATCA targets non-compliance by U.S. taxpayers using foreign accounts. The bilateral agreement signed today is the first based on the model published in November of 2012 – the second of two model agreements – and marks another important step in establishing a common approach to combating tax evasion.

Switzerland is one of eight countries that have signed or initialed an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) which helps to facilitate the effective and efficient implementation of FATCA. In addition to the previously announced countries, Treasury initialed an IGA with Italy on January 24. Treasury is engaged with more than 50 countries and jurisdictions to curtail offshore tax evasion, and more signed agreements are expected to follow in the near future.

On January 17, 2013, the Treasury Department and the IRS finalized the regulations implementing FATCA, providing additional certainty for financial institutions and government counterparts about the process for U.S. account identification, information reporting, and withholding requirements for foreign financial institutions (FFIs), other foreign entities, and U.S. withholding agents.

The agreement can be found at http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/tax-policy/treaties/Documents/FATCA-Agreement-Switzerland-2-14-2013.pdf

Categories: Banking, Taxes
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Rob Varnon

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