Offshore tax evasion is a clear violation of tax law, and this topic will be the focus of a Senate hearing that will take place in the near future. According to Bloomberg, the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations will hold a hearing on a crackdown of offshore tax evasion, and will focus on “the status of efforts to hold Swiss banks and their U.S. clients accountable for unpaid taxes on billions of dollars in hidden assets,” a statement by the committee said.
Credit Suisse Group is one of the banks that will be focused on, as U.S. prosecutors claim they have evidence showing bankers helped customers buy gold bars to store in Swiss bank safes, among other things, according to CNN Money. Credit Suisse is among the 14 Swiss banks that are being investigated by the Justice Department.
Kathryn Keneally, the assistant attorney general overseeing the tax division, told CNN Money that people with accounts in Swiss banks should not be under the impression they will remain secret.
“If someone had an account in Switzerland, it is beyond foolish to think that that account is going to remain secret,” Keneally said. “In the last five years, we’ve seen a remarkable change in our ability to get information concerning Swiss bank accounts. It’s extraordinary. Switzerland is no longer a good place to hide assets for tax reasons.”
The break that started the run on Swiss bank accounts came in 2009, when U.S. prosecutors charged UBS AG with aiding tax evasion, Bloomberg reported. The bank avoided prosecution by paying $780 million, and admitting it helped more than 250 accounts with tax evasion.