UBS May Hand Over Small Amount Of Data Only - US Ambassador
ZURICH (Dow Jones)--Swiss bank UBS AG (UBS) may ultimately hand over only a small amount of bank data as part of a U.S. settlement because the Internal Revenue Service has been so successful in shaking out alleged tax evaders, the U.S. ambassador to Switzerland said in a radio broadcast Friday.
Referring to a U.S. tax amnesty, U.S. ambassador Donald Beyer said: "That amnesty program has already turned up more than 9,000 Americans who have come forward voluntarily to talk about their Swiss bank accounts, so I guess our hope once we finally see the numbers is that the actual number of bank records that will be shared will be very, very small." Beyer was speaking to World Radio Switzerland.
The success of the U.S. amnesty is good news for UBS because, depending on how many of the data stem from UBS clients, it is less likely UBS will have to hand over a large amount of confidential client data.
Tuesday marks 90 days since the two countries struck a landmark data deal on hidden offshore accounts, criteria of which were initially kept under wraps at the IRS' request in order to bolster the amnesty.
Under the terms of the pact, Swiss authorities are sifting through 4,450 sets of UBS data the bank has already identified as involving tax fraud or serial cases of evasion. The pact aims for U.S. tax authorities to reap a total of 10,000 sets of data through the various means, which include citizens voluntarily coming forward through the amnesty program or those names being handed over as part of a separate, criminal probe settled early in 2009.
The Swiss government is scheduled to hold a press briefing Tuesday detailing progress on the data handover.
A spokesman for UBS said the bank is "committed to implementing the settlement agreement."
Newspaper Web site: http://worldradio.ch
-By Katharina Bart, Dow Jones Newswires; +41 43 443 8043; firstname.lastname@example.org
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