Following months of negotiations and often-negative press, it appears that the IRS has reached a settlement with UBS AG and the Swiss government regarding an IRS probe into the identify of roughly 52,000 US customers of the Swiss banking giant. For months, the IRS has sought the identify of the UBS customers as part of an investigation in tax evasion. The IRS suspects that most of the individuals and entities whose identities it seeks have neither paid taxes nor declared the existence of their Swiss-based UBS accounts. Given the world-renowned strength of Swiss bank secrecy laws, the request has caused quite a headache for all parties involved.
While details of the settlement haven’t been released, one individual involved in the negotiations expects that more than 10,000 names will be released, representing roughly one fifth of the total sought by the IRS. For more information (what little is available), see today’s Wall Street Journal article “UBS, Swiss Reach Pact on U.S. Tax Probe.”