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Scott Michel Comments on Actions of Swiss Government to Authorize Banks to Disclose Information

May 29, 2013, New York Times

The New York Times quoted Scott D. Michel regarding the Swiss government authorizing banks to disclose information on American clients with hidden accounts. The move intends to resolve the extensive dispute with the United States over tax evasion and will enable Swiss banks to accept an offer by the United States government to hand over client details and pay fines in exchange for a promise to not indict the bank. The secrecy of the Swiss banking system has made the country an offshore tax haven for wealthy foreigners but, with the European Union pushing member nations to update their secrecy rules, there has been widening scrutiny of tax havens in Europe. For the complete article, please visit the New York Times' website.

Excerpt taken from the article.

"That is an important step for the banks; it will apparently allow them to disclose statistical information, such as the number of accounts with U.S. beneficial owners, the number of accounts with foreign corporations or foundations, and the amount of assets under management," said Scott Michel, a tax lawyer in Washington, D.C. "The I.R.S. and D.O.J. can use this information as the basis for financial penalties under settlement agreements, which might be deferred-prosecution agreements or nonprosecution agreements."

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