A tax attorney from the Southern District of New York has requested a special permission in a filing at the Manhattan Federal Court. The request is to seek permission for issuing “John Doe” summonses to a couple of American Banks for divulging records of accounts that might have links with ZuercherKantonal Bank of Switzerland. Tax attorneys have explained that ZKB is a Zurich based bank which offers private banking to its clients from all across the world. Its clientele also comprises of American taxpayers, as per the details provided in the filing. Some of these services are provided by means of correspondent accounts at BNY Mellon and Citibank
Right in their Own Backyard
If the IRS wants to find tax evaders they can look at John Kerry and Tim Geithner. And ironically, these two have never seen a tax increase they did not like.
Bankruptcy lawyers have also clarified that both these banks haven’t been accused of any wrongdoing. In December last year, a former employee and a couple of bankers from ZKB were indicted with charges of conspiracy with U.S. clients for allegedly hiding a whopping $420million from the Internal Revenue Service of America, in order to dodge taxes. ZKB utilized BNY Mellon and Citibank as correspondent banks for providing offshore banking to American taxpayers.
These taxpayers in-turn failed to provide intimation with respect to existence of accounts with ZKB to the IRS, as well as income earned on assets, the filing claimed. The IRS makes use of the “John Doe” summonses for getting information on accused tax law evaders whose identities are not known. In April 2013, the IRS managed to seek the permission of the courts for serving a John Doe summons to the firm Wells Fargo & Co as a part of the investigation for offshore tax evasion.
Times are Changing
An American tax lawyer also stated that banking secrecy is ingrained in Swiss Law as is very much a part of its tradition. However, this trend has recently been subjected to some sort of pressure since other nations along with America have moved to tighten the enforcement of tax laws, demanding more cooperation and openness.