According to Bloomberg the focus on the hearing at the Senate will be on offshore tax evasion. The subcommittee on Investigation said ‘the status of efforts to hold Swiss banks and their U.S. clients accountable for unpaid taxes on billions of dollars in hidden assets’.According to Carl Levin, the estimated cost of tax evasion is over $100bn a year.
14 Swiss banks are currently under investigation by the Department of Justice (DoJ). The DoJ offered to over 300 Swiss banks a program, ‘the US Program‘, that allowed them to avoid prosecution if they disclose how they helped US citizen to hide assets, and they hand over data on undeclared accounts, as well as pay penalties.
The crackdown from the US might not stop at Switzerrland, the model to be exported to other offshore centers. Lawrence Horn, a tax attorney at Sills Cummis & Gross in Newark, said “If I were Senator Levin, I’d ask the Justice Department, ‘You did this program with the Swiss and 106 banks signed up for non-prosecution, so will you take that prototype to other countries with a history of unreported bank accounts, such as Israel, India, Singapore and Hong Kong?’”.