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30 August 2013

Swiss-US accord will raise veil on professional advisers

A fast-track agreement between the US tax authorities and Swiss banks will lead to the disclosure of third party advisers and other professionals who were involved in tax evasion schemes.

By Neasa MacErlean

An end to Swiss secrecy Fedor Selivanov

A pact has just been agreed between the two countries which should enable Switzerland's 300 banks to clear up outstanding enquiries with the US within a couple of years. The Swiss Bankers Association is quoted in Bloomberg Law as saying: 'The program enables all banks in Switzerland to settle their U.S. past quickly and conclusively and creates the necessary legal certainty.'

Milan Patel, a partner in Anaford AG who used to be a tax lawyer in the US, says: 'The Swiss have finally decided to deal with the issue of creating an exception to Swiss bank secrecy by employing an administrative procedure to avoid legal challenges and a public referendum, which could otherwise defeat any settlement.'

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