Igor S. Drabkin, J.D., Former IRS Attorney

Igor S. Drabkin, J.D., Former IRS Attorney

On August 19, 2009, the IRS and UBS AG, one of the major Swiss banks, announced the terms of the settlement reached in a “John Doe” summons enforcement case brought by the U.S. Government to reveal the names of American account holders of UBS Swiss accounts.  Pursuant to the settlement, UBS has agreed to reveal the names and account information of 4,450 U.S. account holders to the IRS.  UBS announced that those account holders whose names will be revealed, will have an opportunity to protest the decision to the Swiss Federal Tax Authority (“SFTA”).  UBS will notify those customers who are on the list that their names are to be turned over to the IRS.   Account owners who content that revealing of their information is in violation of Swiss law will be entitled to a review and decision from the SFTA.  The first 500 UBS Swiss bank accounts will be turned over, according to the agreement, within 60 days of being informed by SFTA tha a formal request by the IRS was made.  The account holders should be notified by UBS within 15 days of such reqeust.  The last of the 4,450 names to be revealed should be disclosed within a year.

In order to motivate as many Swiss account holders as possible to voluntarily disclose their information, the IRS will not disclose the names of who is on the list of 4,450 accounts, nor will it disclose the criteria for revealing those accounts. We remind everyone that the IRS Voluntary Disclosure Program available to foreign account holders is set to expire on September 23, 2009.  We will issue an update if this deadline is extended by the IRS.

Former IRS Attorneys of Holtz, Slavett & Drabkin are ready to answer your questions and can be reached at (310) 550-6200.

Author: Igor S. Drabkin, J.D., Former IRS Attorney.

Copyright (c) 2009 Igor S. Drabkin.  All Rights Reserved.