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GFI Recommends Continued Push for Information Sharing as UBS Case Winds Down

August 7th, 2009

Global Financial Integrity has come out with recommendations today for the US government on how to proceed as the UBS case begins to come to a close.  From GFI:

U.S.-Swiss Tax Treaty: In June an amendment to the U.S.-Swiss tax treaty was agreed to but not yet ratified.  Statements from U.S. and Swiss parties to the negotiations indicate that information exchange would still rely on exchange upon request and would require the U.S. to provide names of suspected tax evaders to obtain information on their undisclosed accounts.  The U.S should push for an automatic information-exchange provision for all types of income similar to that found in the European Union Savings Tax Directive.

The Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act: Introduced in March this legislation would deter the use of offshore secrecy jurisdictions for tax evasion through a combination of strengthened investigative capacity, legal presumptions, and stronger penalties.  President Obama has endorsed the bill which will continue to be the focus of Congressional attention.

Maintain International Pressure on Banking Secrecy: Governments around the world and multinational bodies such as the Group of 20 have stated intentions to seek improved information-sharing in tax collection matters.  The U.S. should support these efforts in upcoming forums including the September meeting of the Group of Twenty.

The recommendations come as Swiss and US authorities were scheduled to finalize the settlement agreement in the UBS case on Friday.  Read the full GFI release at www.gfip.org

Written by Clark Gascoigne

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