“Money Trails Lead to Swiss Billionaire Bank: Pay Up $122.9 Million!
Swiss Bank UBS Agrees to Pay $122.9 Million For Assisting U.S. Citizens Hide Billions in Assets
Swiss Bank UBS AG has agreed to pay the U.S. government $122.9 million to resolve charges related to assisting U.S. citizens conceal billions of dollars in assets overseas.
The financial penalty is a result of the bank attempting to deceive the U.S. government by helping Americans hide assets offshore in order to avoid paying taxes owed in the United States. U.S. officials have become increasingly aggressive in pursuing offshore tax evaders, even pursuing them outside their own borders.
As part of the agreement, UBS AG is required to open a branch in the United States to accept deposits and provide banking services to U.S. citizens and businesses. The Swiss banking Giant also agreed to provide the Internal Revenue Service with the names of thousands of U.S. citizens suspected of tax evasion.
The $122.9 million paid by UBS AG, one of the world’s largest private banks, represents just a fraction of the amount that U.S. citizens are estimated to have hidden away in foreign accounts. The IRS has estimated that the total amount of unpaid taxes from these accounts is around $100 billion a year.
U.S. citizens who have evaded taxes in foreign accounts should take note that the IRS is stepping up its efforts and stiffening penalties for those who are found to have evaded taxes. Individuals caught hiding assets off shore can be subject to fines, jail time and the seizure of their assets.
The UBS AG case serves as an effective reminder to all Americans that there is no hiding from the Taxman. U.S. citizens should be strongly encouraged to take steps to properly pay any taxes due on income earned overseas. Failure to do so could result in costly penalties and possible criminal prosecution.
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