Swiss Banks Pay Big Penalties for Failure to Disclose U.S. Accounts

The Department of Justice recently imposed another $5.3 million penalty on Bank Lombard Odier & Co., Ltd., a Swiss bank that has already paid over $99 million for offering offshore banking services to U.S. taxpayers without disclosing their transactions. Since Bank Lombard signed its first non-prosecution agreement in 2015, it has acquired 88 additional accounts, again without disclosing them as required.

Another Swiss bank, Mirelis Holding S.A., reached its first resolution with the DOJ Tax Division in July 2018, agreeing to pay over $10 million in order to avoid prosecution for tax-related criminal offenses.

These agreements "[demonstrate] the Department's resolve toward ending the practice of using Swiss bank accounts to evade one's taxes," said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department's Tax Division. "The Department will continue to pursue culpable banks and asset management and investment advisory firms that assist U.S. clients in their concealment of assets and the evasion of their U.S. tax obligations."

Over the course of its Swiss Bank Program, the Department has imposed more than $1.36 billion in penalties and continues to improve its methods for analyzing and identifying the flow of money of U.S. tax evaders across borders.

For more information on these Swiss bank agreements, click here and here.

If you have undeclared assets overseas, you should consider getting into compliance with your reporting requirements. The IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program will close on September 28, 2018. To learn more about your options for offshore account compliance, contact one of our attorneys today.

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