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Credit Suisse Admits U.S. Putting on Pressure to Find Tax Cheaters
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On Friday, Credit Suisse admitted that the U.S. authorities have submitted a fresh request to the Swiss government for information on former clients of Credit Suisse bank, who are suspected of cheating U.S. taxes. The new attempt by U.S. comes after a previous attempt was blocked by a Swiss court.

U.S. and Switzerland have been in a diplomatic war for years over wealthy U.S. citizens using Swiss banks as a safe haven for black money. While the U.S. has been trying to get relevant information from Swiss banks, the laws of Switzerland have so far stonewalled its efforts.

The new request made by U.S. authorities was also confirmed by a spokesman for the Swiss Federal Tax Administration who said it had received such a request from U.S. authorities on July 9, but was not empowered to divulge further particulars. In the United States, eleven Swiss banks including Credit Suisse and Julius Baer are being investigated for helping U.S. citizens to cheat taxes.

  
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Credit Suisse distanced itself from the affair by excluding current clients and the spokesman said on the request, “I can confirm that it concerns former clients.”

Switzerland has traditionally believed in neutrality and much of its economy is empowered by money placed by foreigners in its banks. The Swiss government is trying actively to control the damage and trying to have the investigations dropped in return for the payment of fines and the transfer of U.S. client names. According to media sources, the Swiss government is also seeking a deal to protect the rest of its 300 banks from U.S. prosecution.

In an attempt to avoid a repeat of legal wrangles blocking a quick new deal, the Swiss parliament has approved a plan in February that would allow U.S. officials to request information on suspected tax cheats based solely on their behavior, rather than on bank account number.

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In 2009, the UBS had agreed to hand over the names of more than 4000 of its account holders to the U.S. authorities and pay a $780 million file to settle criminal charges of helping U.S. citizens to dodge taxes.





 

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