Friday, February 20, 2009

Links - Feb 20

** Also see our searchable archive of past story summaries; and Offshore Watch. **

Germany Investigates Liechtenstein Prince Over Taxes, FTD Says
Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- State prosecutors in Germany are investigating Prince Max von und zu Liechtenstein over the evasion of German taxes, Financial Times Deutschland reported.

United States Asks Court to Enforce Summons for UBS Swiss Bank Account Records
Feb 19 (US DoJ) - The US government has filed a lawsuit today in Miami against UBS asking the court to order the bank to disclose to the IRS the identities of the bank's U.S. customers with secret Swiss accounts. According to the lawsuit, as many as 52,000 U.S. customers hid their UBS accounts from the government in violation of the tax laws; 20,000 involved securities, and 32,000 involved cash.

Bank Asks Offshore Clients to Sign Tax Forms
Feb 17 (NYTimes) - Credit Suisse, under a widening investigation into foreign banks with offshore private banking services, is working to avert a potential standoff with federal authorities like the one faced by the rival Swiss bank UBS.

A Swiss Bank Is Set to Open Its Secret Files
Feb 18 (NYTimes) - In the hush-hush world of Swiss banking, the unthinkable is happening: secrets are spilling into the open. “The Swiss are saying that this is the end of Swiss banking as they knew it,” said Jack Blum, an offshore tax specialist. “Nobody will trust the security of the Swiss bank account.”

Brown targets Switzerland in global tax haven crackdown
Feb 19 (Guardian) - A worldwide crackdown on tax havens, from Switzerland to the Cayman Islands, will be spearheaded by Gordon Brown as the world's richest nations use the global economic downturn to close loopholes that are costing them hundreds of billions in lost revenues. See also “Fox to lead global effort to tighten henhouse safety.”

UK tax-take to reveal depth of crisis
Feb 18 (FT) - A dramatic deterioration in the public finances is expected to be revealed on Thursday morning as official figures show extremely weak tax revenues in the crucial month of January and lay bare the cost of the government’s capital injections into Britain’s banks.

Swiss distraction on tax havens
Feb 20 (Guardian) - Gordon Brown's decision to target Switzerland on tax dodging is a diversion to distract from his failure to take action against Britain's tax havens (Brown targets Switzerland, 19 February). The UK plays a major role in helping companies dodge the tax they owe. By John Hilary. Just as we wrote in
Fox to lead global effort to tighten henhouse safety.

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