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US Collects USD1bn In Swiss Bank Program Penalties

by Mike Godfrey,, Washington

30 December 2015

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has announced that it has now completed agreements with 75 financial institutions, and imposed penalties in excess of USD1bn, under its Swiss Bank Program.

The DoJ's Swiss Bank Program was signed by the US and Switzerland on August 29, 2013. It provides a framework for Swiss banks that were not already being investigated to resolve past "cross border criminal tax violations."

According to the terms of non-prosecution agreements signed under the Program, Swiss banks agree to cooperate in any related criminal or civil proceedings, demonstrate their implementation of controls to stop misconduct involving undeclared US accounts, and pay penalties in return for the DoJ's agreement not to prosecute them for tax-related criminal offenses.

In accordance with the terms of the Program, banks mitigate their penalties by encouraging US accountholders to come into compliance with their US tax and disclosure obligations.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Caroline Ciraolo of the DoJ's Tax Division said that, in addition to the large number of Swiss banks that have reached agreement with the DoJ, and the substantial level of penalties imposed, the Department has also "secured voluminous and detailed information regarding the illegal conduct of financial institutions, professionals, and accountholders around the world."

"Building on the success of the Swiss Bank Program, the civil and criminal offshore enforcement efforts of the Department and its partners in the Internal Revenue Service will be a top priority in 2016," she added.

TAGS: compliance | tax | tax compliance | law | banking | financial services | enforcement | offshore | agreements | Switzerland | United States | penalties | services | Tax

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