June 19, 2009

U.S., Switzerland amend tax treaty

The U.S. Treasury Department said Friday Switzerland had agreed to a broader tax information exchange to be signed in the next few months.

The agreement comes in the wake of a tax scandal that resulted in a $780 million fine earlier this year levied on Swiss bank UBS for helping hide assets from the IRS.

In a statement, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the Obama administration was committed to reducing off shore tax evasion to help ensure that all U.S. taxpayers are playing by the same rules.

This treaty will increase our ability to enforce our tax laws and will help bring an end to an era of offshore accounts and investments being used for tax evasion, Geithner said.

The new protocol allows for an exchange of information in compliance with international guidelines set by the Organization for Co-operation and Development, the Treasury said.

Friday's announcement follows a similar agreement between the Treasury Department and Luxembourg to tighten international tax laws.