Monday, January 17, 2011

Wikileaks Takes Aim at Swiss Bank Secrecy

Wikileaks is reported to be in the process of vetting and publishing some "secret" Swiss bank data.  See the Reuters article here.  As reported, this is not the first time.  The new data has information about "around 2,000 bank clients -- including prominent business people, artists and around 40 politicians -- who have parked their money offshore" -- "probably to avoid tax."  The data comes from 3 financial institutioins, including Julius Baer.

The report indicates that the source, a former officer of Julius Baer in the Cayman Islands, had turned over to the IRS information on 8 clients, presumably Julius Baer clients, in 2007 and was the source for publications on Wikileaks in the same year.  The report also indicates that some of the data came to this former officer from other whistleblowers at other banks.  I suspect that a good inference can be drawn from this visible episode that there is a signficant amount of quiet whistleblowing going on for so-called "secret" Swiss financial accounts.

I just wonder whether the Swiss whistleblowers' rewards are taxable in Switzerland, whether those Swiss whistleblowers may be taking steps to hide their rewards in other tax haven jurisdictions, and whether the tax authorities paying those rewards are directly or indirectly facilitating any Swiss tax evasion that may be occurring.

1 comment:

  1. Some articles have published that there are some 40 politicians included on the discs that Wilkileaks will recieve. If some of these politicians are Americans and their accounts are in fact undisclosed and untaxed it could get kind of interesting should their names be published by Wilkileaks.
    Maybe some more Rangel moments reflecting on bad memory and language barriers.


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