Joint Statement between the U.S. Department of Justice and the Swiss Federal Department of Finance
1. The United States Department of Justice has been and continues to be engaged in law enforcement action against individuals and entities that use foreign bank accounts to evade U.S. taxes and reporting requirements, and individuals and entities that facilitate the evasion of U.S. taxes and reporting requirements. In announcing today the Program for Swiss banks the Department of Justice intends to provide a path for Swiss Banks that are not currently the target of a criminal investigation authorized by the U.S. Department of Justice, Tax Division, to obtain resolution concerning their status in connection with the Department's overall investigations, and to assist the Department of Justice in its law enforcement efforts. The Program does not apply to individuals and is not available to any Swiss bank as to which the Tax Division has authorized a formal criminal investigation concerning its operations.
2. Switzerland welcomes the efforts of the Department of Justice to provide the Program and intends to draw the attention of the Swiss Banks to the terms of the Program and encourages them to consider participating therein. Switzerland notes that the Swiss Parliament by Declaration of 19 June 2013 stated its expectation that the Swiss Federal Council will take all measures within existing legal framework to put Swiss banks in a position to cooperate with the Department of Justice. Switzerland represents that applicable Swiss law will permit effective participation by the Swiss Banks on the terms set out in the Program.
3. The signatories take note that the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority intends to encourage, within its supervisory powers, all Swiss Banks to send a letter to U.S. Persons or Entities with U.S. Related Accounts at those Swiss Banks informing them of the Program and drawing their attention to the Internal Revenue Service Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative.
4. Switzerland intends to process treaty requests according to the Convention between the United States of America and the Swiss Confederation for the Avoidance of Double Taxation with Respect to Taxes on Income, signed at Washington on October 2, 1996, and the Protocol Amending the Convention, signed at Washington on September 23, 2009, if and when it is in force and applicable, as may be amended, and intends to do so on an expedited basis, including by providing additional personnel and the other necessary resources to process the requests. 5. Noting the importance attached by both sides to providing a high level of personal data and privacy protection for all individuals as provided in their laws, the signatories understand that, if personal data are provided, they should only be used for purposes of law enforcement (which may include regulatory action) in the United States or as otherwise permitted by U.S. law. Personal data should only be retained for so long as necessary for these purposes.
6. The signatories intend to resolve any difficulties or doubts arising from this Joint Statement by way of consultations.
Signed at Washington, D.C., this 29th day of August, 2013, in duplicate in English.
JAMES M. COLE
Deputy Attorney General
United States Department of Justice
and Plenipotentiary of
Switzerland to the United States
PROGRAM FOR NON-PROSECUTION AGREEMENTS OR NON-TARGET LETTERS FOR SWISS BANKS
I. Scope and Definitions
A. Scope of the Program
This Program is available to any Swiss Bank
This Program does not apply to individuals and shall not be available to any Swiss Bank as to which the Tax Division has authorized a formal criminal investigation concerning its operations (Category 1 Bank) as of the date of the announcement of this Program. All Category 1 Banks either have already been notified that the Tax Division has authorized a formal criminal investigation concerning its operations, or will be so notified through its counsel by certified mail issued in conjunction with the announcement of this Program. B. Definitions
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