The United States Government has, for the past twenty years or more, pressed to obtain information from banks in tax havens. These efforts have usually been unsuccessful. That now appears to be changing.
The U.S. Treasury is completing agreements with five European Union countries to make life difficult for U.S. tax cheats. If the agreements are successfully concluded and implemented, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and the United Kingdom will be providing data to the U.S. Treasury on the financial dealings of U. S. taxpayers in these countries. The process is scheduled to begin in 2013.
The Treasury is hoping to add a host of other countries over the next years so that the information available to the U.S. on tax evaders using foreign facilities will be complete. Canada, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Ireland, the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and other island havens seem reluctant to join the U.S. agreement.
The U.S. Government does, however, have other weapons they are now using aggressively. Several Swiss bankers have been “caught” in the U.S. and indicted. In some instances, their bank employers have also been indicted for essentially assisting U.S. tax evaders to violate U.S. law. This tactic has led to a serious reassessment by the Swiss government about turning over U.S. citizens’ bank files to the IRS.
Because of 9/11 and the threat of terrorism and the movement of funds to support terroristic acts, countries that were reluctant to share money movement information are now more willing to coordinate and share information. Because of the drug cartels, dictatorships, and other major money movement problems that are international in scope, we believe this sharing of information will not only continue but increase.
We also believe that U.S. agents are finding bank employees in tax havens who are willing to share information. There have been cases where U.S. intelligence agents have obtained access to information without judicial process. That means that the banks are now starting to leak information.