Earlier this year, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) entered into its 80th, and final, non-prosecution agreement with a Swiss bank as part of its groundbreaking program to combat offshore tax evasion in Switzerland and beyond. The DOJ has collected over $1.36 billion in penalties from these banks, as well as detailed information to trace the assets from the banks’ US-related accounts to other financial institutions worldwide.
On August 29, 2013, the DOJ and the Swiss Federal Department of Finance announced in a joint statement the Program for Non-Prosecution Agreements or Non-Target Letters for Swiss Banks (Swiss Bank Program or Program). The Program provided Swiss banks with a way to resolve potential liabilities in the US for tax-related criminal offenses and be protected from prosecution, in exchange for the disclosure of certain information related to undeclared accounts in which US taxpayers had a direct or an indirect interest and the payment of penalties. (See US Dep’t of Justice, Joint Statement Between the US Dep’t of Justice and the Swiss Fed. Dep’t of Finance (Aug. 29, 2013), available at justice.gov; Justice News, US and Switzerland Issue Joint Statement Regarding Tax Evasion Investigations (Aug. 29, 2013).)
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The DOJ’s Swiss Bank Program: Lessons Learned and the Road Ahead,” Practical Law The Journal, August/September 2016