Senate Investigation of Offshore Tax Evasion Focuses on Swiss Bank UBS and Liechtenstein’s LGT

Source: Citizens for Tax Justice, Tax Justice Digest, July 18, 2008

The Permanent Investigations Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs held a hearing and released a 115-page report yesterday on offshore tax evasion, which it says costs the U.S. around $100 billion a year. It focuses on two European banks in what subcommittee chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) calls offshore secrecy jurisdictions, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

The report explains that the Swiss bank UBS has 20,000 accounts for U.S. clients but only 1,000 of those have been reported to the IRS for tax purposes. The remaining 19,000 hold around $18 billion. Liechtenstein’s LGT is known to have had several thousand offshore accounts but it is unclear how many belong to Americans.

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