Monday, November 24, 2008

UBS clients consider admitting tax evasion to avoid criminal prosecution

Wealthy clients of Swiss bank UBS AG are seeking amnesty through an Internal Revenue Service voluntary disclosure program that allows U.S. citizens to avoid criminal prosecution if they acknowledge tax evasion and agree to pay taxes and penalties, according to The Wall Street Journal.

"The developments amount to a coup for U.S. authorities, who have spent the past two decades trying to crack offshore banking markets with only incremental progress," the newspaper said.

At the same time, the Journal said, the IRS is considering a national settlement for the estimated 20,000 taxpayers that worked with UBS to avoid taxes. The settlement reportedly would be based on a 2003 landmark offshore credit-card and tax-fraud deal but with stiffer penalties.

See "UBS clients seek amnesty on U.S. taxes."