After many months of suspense, the Swiss parliament has finally approved the deal struck by UBS and the US Justice Department to disclose the names of about 4,500 US-based clients of UBS who are suspected of tax dodging.
UBS has until mid-August to provide the names to the Justice Department to avoid criminal prosecution. That of course means that the 4,500 clients whose names will be disclosed will likely face criminal prosecution and confiscatory civil penalties.
We have been preparing our clients for months for just this eventuality and many of them now have the bulk of their wealth neatly tucked away. This will not help with the criminal prosecution, but gives our clients an additional planning option.
They may now decide to come forward and hand over their assets to avoid criminal prosecution, or continue fighting, either in hopes of defeating criminal charges (which would require proof of intentional tax evasion) or by physically moving beyong the jurisdiction of the US courts.