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News Link • TAXES: Federal

Switzerland Caves In to US in Tax Evasion Dispute

•, Russia Today
 "This is both a good and a practical solution," Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf told reporters after a cabinet meeting approved the draft accord.

The deal, which has to be approved by the parliament, will see Swiss banks turning over key information to US authorities.

"We hope that it will enable this chapter to be closed," she said, saying that it was nonetheless up to individual banks to decide if they wanted to cooperate with US authorities.

Swiss banks have earned a reputation of keeping personal information of account holders secret. The tradition of banking secrecy helped build the country's $2 trillion financial industry.
On Tuesday, the Swiss government ordered its third largest private bank, Julius Baer, to hand over data on US clients. Confidential information is due to be passed on to US tax authorities under the terms of an existing double taxation treaty between the two countries. Julius Baer replied it would provide the necessary data, though it didn’t reveal how many clients were involved.

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