Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Swiss / UBS Fix is in (Almost)

This is perhaps ho-hum by now, but the Swiss today announced here that Switzerland has taken a major step in fixing Swiss law to ex post facto justify the obligations the Swiss and UBS undertook to disclose U.S. taxpayers to the U.S. The step is a protocol to the double tax treaty which will be formally submitted to the Swiss Parliament in April. The guts of the announcement is:
The amending protocol raises the treaty request agreement of August 19, 2009, to the same level as the bilateral double taxation convention. In accordance with the general rules of interpretation, the UBS Agreement now takes precedence over the older and more general convention, and permits Switzerland to provide treaty assistance in cases not only of tax fraud, but also of continued and serious tax evasion. The amending protocol remedies the shortcomings pointed out in the Federal Administrative Court's judgment of January 27, 2010, and ensures that Switzerland is able to fulfill its obligations under international law.
The announcement says that the Swiss Federal Council authorized the provisional application of the protocol before Swiss Parliament approval, but that data will not be disclosed prior to Swiss Parliament approval without customer consent. Any predictions on the Swiss Parliament's action?

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