On January 27, 2016, the Department of Justice announced that it reached its final non-prosecution agreement under Category 2 of the Swiss Bank Program with HSZH Verwaltungs AG (HSZH). The department has executed agreements with 80 banks since March 30, 2015, when it announced the first Swiss Bank Program non-prosecution agreement with BSI SA.
In the past two weeks, three Swiss banks--Bank Linth LLB AG (Bank Linth), Bank Sparhafen Zurich AG (BSZ), and Ersparniskasse Schaffhausen AG (EKS)-have reached resolutions under the Department of Justice's Swiss Bank Program. The Swiss Bank Program, which was announced on Aug. 29, 2013, provides a path for Swiss banks to resolve potential criminal liabilities in the United States. Swiss banks eligible to enter the program were required to advise the department by Dec. 31, 2013, that they had reason to believe that they had committed tax-related criminal offenses in connection with undeclared U.S.-related accounts. Banks already under criminal investigation related to their Swiss-banking activities and all individuals were expressly excluded from the program.
Last Friday, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court's refusal to quash subpoenas related to foreign bank account records that were required to be maintained under the Bank Secrecy Act and Treasury Regulations.
The U.S. crackdown on tax evasion continues. On February 14, 2013, the U.S. Treasury Department announced that Switzerland and the United States have signed an agreement to make Swiss banks disclose more information about U.S. account holders.
Bloomberg is reporting that a federal judge has directed the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to issue a summons requiring the Swiss bank Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) to produce information about U.S. taxpayers who were trying to evade U.S. income taxes by holding accounts at other Swiss banks that did business with UBS.
Reuters is reporting that on December 14, 2012, the Swiss government announced a plan in an effort to clean up the country's image as a haven for untaxed assets. The plan, however, fell short of a requirement which would have required banking clients to prove that they had paid tax in their respective home country.