Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Swiss Bank Advising Clients to Move Their Funds to Singapore

Swiss banks denied it is helping wealthy Germans dodge taxes by telling them to move funds to Singapore and other money centres ahead of a Swiss tax deal due to come into force in January.

"We do not help clients to evade taxes and we clearly don't support clients in circumventing bilateral tax agreements, including the one with Germany," UBS private bank boss Juerg Zeltner told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday.

He was responding to a media report last week which said UBS, Europe's fifth-largest bank by market value, had advised German clients to move funds to Singapore to avoid detection by authorities ahead of the planned withholding tax.

If you have Unreported Foreign Bank Accounts, contact the Tax Lawyers at Marini & Associates, P.A. for a FREE Tax Consultation at www.TaxAid.us or www.TaxLaw.ms or Toll Free at 888-8TaxAid (888 882-9243).


  1. This again will raise the issue of what institution to use after Switzerland. Some think they can outsmart government officials by using "obscure" banks. That is what the Wegelin and Kantonalbank customers thought when they left UBS from 2007 to 2009. Trouble is, when 30,000 Americans confess to hidden accounts, they provide a very long list of "next best stops" to the US government. Does anyone doubt that Germany has received a list from the IRS of every bank in Hong Kong and Singapore where former UBS and Credit Suisse customers moved their funds? At some point there becomes credit risk when you move so far down the list of institutions to where you are the first European they have done business with.

    Posted by LeVine Richard

  2. The taxpayer is of course free to move the funds to another bank and / or another jurisdiction. The Swiss bank will not refuse to do the transfer but can't suggest that the client transfers the funds to their foreign subsidiary to avoid getting caught by the Rubik agreements.

    If the client decides to transfer the funds AND close the account then there is no reporting of the account to the authorities and of course no tax to be deducted. However, if the account is maintained, albeit with a nil balance on 31 December, the agreement provide for the reporting of the identity of the account holder if sufficient funds to cover the tax liability are not transferred to the account .

    If the client closes the account he is "free", provided no employee decides to sell yet another cd containing confidential client information. A key question is of course if you can continue to hide or if a better solution is either to make use of the amnesty or indeed as Richard suggests, leave Germany.

    The Rubik agreements provide for information on the 10 most popular jurisdictions to be provided to Germany, Austria and the UK. No client data will be sent but one should expect the tax authorities to focus their attention on these 10 jurisdictions going forward.

    Posted by Stein Johnsen TEP

  3. That is indeed a good point.
    However, there are several good banking institutions and jurisdictions available for those who consider leaving the Swiss banks. In particular, Monaco seems to be very popular by some of them.
    Furthermore, it seems like a discretionary trust may be an option allowing clients to continue to base their business in Switzerland (and excellent jurisdiction for the Trustees). The discretionary trust may protect against a weakening bank secrecy and Switzerland's eagerness to share information with foreign tax authorities.

    Posted by Stein Johnsen TEP