The crackdown began in 2009 after a whistleblower notified U.S. authorities that UBS, the largest Swiss bank, was enabling Americans to evade taxes.
UBS settled the case later that year. It turned over account records on 4,500 U.S. customers and paid a $780 million fine
I have absolutely no sympathy for those caught trying to hide their wealth in swiss banks in order to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. It is about time that the Swiss were held accountable for their part in this activity. I certainly celebrate those who through their own initiatives have become wealthy in the country. For the most part they deserve to have the fruits of their labor. But as the bible says for whom much is given much is expected.
Prior to the establishment of personal income taxes in 1913 (yes, just a hundred years ago) almost all the money needed to run our government in doing the people’s business came from inheritance taxes and import taxes. I wonder what this country would look like today if that means of funding had continued? I kind of think we would probably be better off than what we are now. Instead of taxing those who have little or no discretionary income why not depend on wealth returning to where it came from after someone dies?
Getting back to the point of the post, it seems that the more money someone has just increases their fixation on getting more and more and paying out less and less. They let money become the idol of their lives. In that regard the sickness is much worse than the cure. It does my heart good to see that those who try to hide their wealth in order to avoid taxes are getting caught more frequently today thanks to the revised Swiss practices. But I’m sure there are many more than the 4,500 who were turned over. Probably orders of magnitude more…..