Sunday, June 27, 2010

I.R.S. achieves victory over tax havens

Recent advances in the I.R.S.’s efforts to prevent tax-evasion among Americans illegally concealing taxable assets in offshore holdings may signal an end to the acceptability of these practices in popular tax havens.

“The Swiss Parliament’s approval of a deal to give the I.R.S. the names on 4,450 American accounts at the Swiss bank UBS is an important victory,” states a New York Times editorial today. Additionally, bilateral tax treaties entered into by the United States, Switzerland, Singapore, Luxembourg and other countries require that certain tax information be disclosed to treaty partners, overriding individual bank secrecy laws.

Further, Congress’s March passage of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act will require, beginning in 2013, foreign financial entities to disclose information about American account holders and business owners on penalty of a substantial withholding tax on income from U.S. securities.