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Mark Matthews, Scott Michel and Cono Namorato Comment On U.S.-Swiss Tax Agreement

August 30, 2013, Thomson Reuters, International Taxes Weekly

Mark E. Matthews, Scott D. Michel and Cono R. Namorato were quoted by International Taxes Weekly regarding an agreement between the U.S. Department of Justice and the Swiss government that allows some Swiss banks to avoid prosecution stemming from a long-running probe of tax evasion by U.S. persons using Swiss bank accounts. For the complete article, please visit International Taxes Weekly's website (subscription required).

Excerpt taken from the article.

"The U.S. believes that a number of Swiss banks marketed themselves to customers leaving banks under investigation, and the penalty structure in this agreement is meant to sanction such efforts," said Mark Matthews of Caplin & Drysdale. "Having said that, for any bank that wishes to avoid criminal prosecution, this agreement presents a clear and attractive opportunity to obtain peace with the U.S."

The information received from the U.S. under the agreement would be to form a roadmap for the U.S. to file treaty requests requiring banks to disclose account holder names, said Scott Michel, also with Caplin & Drysdale. "The agreement requires the participating financial institution to cooperate with any treaty request, and the Swiss government has agreed to treat such requests expeditiously," he added.

Cono Namorato of Caplin & Drysdale said that many directors of Swiss banks would find the DoJ's deal as an attractive way to reduce their own penalties. "Affected account holders should in any event seriously consider immediately undertaking a voluntary disclosure to protect themselves," he added.

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