UBS Refuses to Hand Over Names of US Tax Cheats

Bank charges IRS is trying to trample on Swiss laws
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 1, 2009 3:18 AM CDT
UBS has accused the IRS of trying to trample on Switzerland's sovereignty .   (AP Photo/Keystone, Steffen Schmidt)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Swiss bank UBS has rejected a demand from the IRS that it cough up the names of 52,000 suspected American tax evaders, the Times of London reports. The bank—which paid out $780 million to avoid prosecution for helping rich Americans dodge their taxes—said the lawsuit by the IRS demanding the information violates Swiss sovereignty and that granting the request would breach the country's secrecy laws.

"Having received $780 million from UBS for UBS’s violations of the laws of one country, the US government would now force UBS and its employees to break the laws of another," the bank stated in a filing in federal court. The Swiss government has offered the US a new tax treaty if it agrees to drop the lawsuit against the bank.