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Switzerland amends US tax treaty

The Swiss parliament yesterday amended its tax treaty with the US allowing the IRS to easily identify US taxpayers with undeclared Swiss accounts.

The amendment sets a course for greater tax information sharing between the two countries. It is also hoped this will relieve some of the pressure the US is putting on Swiss banks, such as UBS, to share information.

Although the Swiss-US treaty has allowed information exchange for a number of decades, Swiss banking secrecy rules have seen the Switzerland interpreting these rules narrowly.

The new treaty will allow the IRS to ask the Swiss authorities to share the names of US taxpayers who exhibit “behavioural patterns” of tax evasion as set out by US law.

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