TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Effect of the IRS's UBS Settlement on the Swiss Banking Industry

Spencer Daly (J.D. 2011, Hofstra) has published Note, Secrecy in Limbo: What the Most Recent Settlement With the IRS Means for UBS and the Rest of the Swiss Banking Industry, 10 J. Int'l Bus. & L. 133 (2011). Here is part of the Introduction:

Part I of my paper will introduce the origins and backgrounds of Swiss Bank Secrecy laws and provide some context for the discussion that follows. Part II examines the history of banking secrecy in Switzerland and how it has helped to shape the various treaties that help to enforce the secrecy as well as facilitate information sharing amongst various nations. Further, the evolution of these treaties today have impacted the current events surrounding these laws and have laid the groundwork for the new settlements reached today. Part III of my paper examines the current legal battle between UBS and the IRS and United States Department of Justice over the turnover of client data pursuant to a deferred prosecution agreement. A brief background on the various cases against UBS bankers that led to the eventual lawsuit against UBS, helps set the stage for an analysis of the agreement. Part IV discusses what the ruling by the Swiss Court in Bern and Swiss Parliaments recent acceptance means for the status of the agreement and what may happen to UBS in the United States and abroad. Finally, Part V summarizes the concepts discussed and proposes the next step in gaining greater transparency while still allowing Switzerland to maintain its historical identity of strong banking secrecy and reliability.

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The biggest secret of all seems to be how much tax the government collected from UBS tax evaders. Its either embarrassingly large (Lots of superhero job-creating/innovators with secret Swiss bank accounts), or embarrassingly small--IRS spinning its wheels.

Just a guess, but I think the former.

Posted by: jimharper | Aug 29, 2011 11:37:06 AM