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IRS Reads Swiss Bankers Like An Open Book


Swiss banks may be sounding more bullish now after the cat of Swiss bank secrecy is irretrievably out of the bag. Nowadays some—like the CEO of UBS AG—are saying the IRS and others have put 20,000 Swiss jobs at risk.

The mess started when the IRS backed UBS into a corner and broke the back of Swiss bank secrecy like a twig. That was followed by several successive IRS amnesty programs, first in 2009, second in 2011, and finally in early 2012.

About 30,000 taxpayers came forward over the last 2 years to disclose Swiss and other accounts.

The more traditional route to getting details is to make banks disclose. With UBS and HSBC, the IRS and DOJ compelled the banks to cough up the data.

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