Stephen J. Dunn, a contributor to the Forbes website, warns clients of Swiss banks about the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (‘OVDP’) that is suggested to them. Most banks are asking clients via telephone conversations and letters to participate in the OVDP, program proposed by the IRS.
His view is that the banks are pushing the client for OVDP in their own interest rather than for the best interest of the clients. Getting US clients to join OVDP, provided the Category 2 Swiss banks can prove the clients has done so, the Swiss banks can reduce the penalty on the account held in their books.
He takes the example of a client who had received s letter from the BSI.
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he general caution he gives is to understand the motives of Swiss Banks in requesting that their U.S. depositors enter OVDP. The Swiss banks are serving their own self-interest by getting U.S. depositors to join OVDP because, provided the Category 2 Swiss banks can show proof of their U.S. depositors having done so, the Swiss banks can avoid the penalty on the account imposed by DOJ’s Swiss bank program.