Thursday, August 27, 2009

Get In Line Brother #22 - New IRS FAQ on UBS Accounts

On August 25, 2009, the IRS added a new FAQ to its FAQs on the voluntary disclosure initiative for foreign bank accounts. The FAQs as thus supplemented are here. The new FAQ is short, so I will just quote it verbatim:
Q52. Are UBS account holders eligible to make a voluntary disclosure under the IRS’s offshore Voluntary Disclosure Practice (VDP) announced on March 23, 2009, and set to expire September 23, 2009?
Yes, provided that the UBS account holder is otherwise eligible under the VDP. However, a UBS account holder becomes ineligible to make a voluntary disclosure under the offshore VDP at the time the IRS receives information from any source, including from the Swiss Federal Tax Administration (“SFTA”), UBS, an informant, or otherwise, relating specifically to the account holder's undisclosed foreign accounts or undisclosed foreign entities.
As part of the agreement with Switzerland and UBS announced by the IRS and the Department of Justice on August 19, 2009, UBS will be sending notices to account holders indicating that their information may be provided to the IRS under the agreement. If a UBS account holder gets this notification from UBS before September 23rd, this notification will not by itself disqualify the account holder from making a voluntary disclosure under the offshore VDP by the September 23rd deadline. Although many of these notices will not be sent by UBS to account holders until after September 23rd, the September 23rd offshore VDP deadline applies to all UBS account holders even if they have not received a notice by that date.
UBS account holders are thus well advised to Get In Line Brother.

Persons with foreign bank accounts, particularly Swiss bank accounts in banks other than UBS, should also seriously consider the offer, given the uncertainties of the effects of Switzerland's reinterpretation of its exchange of information obligations under the double tax treaty.

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