Irit Avissar, Swiss banks target Israeli tax evaders (Globes 12/31/14), here.
Swiss banks are training their crosshairs on Israeli customers. Legal sources said that in the past two weeks, the large banks in Switzerland have begun sending many queries to their Israeli customers demanding confirmation either that the assets deposited with the banks were reported to the Israeli tax authorities, or that the customers have begun a process of voluntary disclosure to the authorities in Israel.
"After dealing with their US and European customers, the banks in Switzerland have moved on to their Israeli customers. They have decided to verify that all the assets in their accounts are reported and are in compliance with the rules," said Adv. Leor Nouman, who heads the Tax group at the S. Horowitz & Co. law firm.
The Israel Tax Authority is currently conducting an investigation against dozens of Israelis suspected of concealing assets through accounts at Swiss bank UBS. "Globes" revealed yesterday that Haifa District Court Judge Moshe Gilad is one of those being investigated. This investigation may also have been the catalyst for a decision by the Swiss banks to make requirements of all their Israeli customers. Last September, the Israel Tax Authority announced a new anonymous voluntary disclosure program giving Israeli citizens an opportunity to legalize their unreported assets. According to Nouman, the banks in Switzerland are aware of the Tax Authority's new program, and are encouraging their customers to join it.Katherina Bart, Swiss citizens come clean on undeclared funds following probes (Reuters 1/7/15), here.
A U.S. criminal investigation into how Swiss banks helped wealthy Americans hide their money has had an unexpected side effect: shaking out scores of tax cheats among the Swiss themselves.
Secrecy laws in Switzerland, the world's largest offshore financial center with trillions in assets, have been under siege in recent years from massive international pressure, including long-running investigations by U.S., German and French prosecutors.
Despite widespread indignation in Switzerland over the campaign, and efforts to enshrine data privacy for residents into the constitution, data shows the Swiss have been coming clean in record numbers on their own undeclared funds.
A total of 15,039 Swiss residents have filed voluntary disclosures since the government introduced an amnesty for its own citizens five years ago, according to Swiss tax data.Katharina Bart, Hacker posts client emails from Swiss bank BCGE (Reuters 1/9/15), here.
Officials say that number is set to rise as voluntary disclosures from 2013 and last year are processed by cantonal authorities and included in the overall federal tally.
A hacker claiming to be behind a cyber attack on Banque Cantonale de Geneve on Friday divulged confidential client information after the Swiss bank failed to meet demands for payment.
In the latest case of a breach of customer information at a financial firm, an anonymous person or group using the Twitter moniker Rex Mundi said it had hacked the Genevan cantonal (state) bank's servers and downloaded more than 30,000 emails by Swiss and foreign clients.
Hours after the hacker's 1700 GMT (12 noon EST) ultimatum expired, the bank issued a statement saying that the intercepted material had been published, but added that it represented "no particular financial risk for clients or the bank".