The decline of Swiss banking secrecy seems to be in an endless tailspin. Earlier this year, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service announced they would pursue the disclosure of secret Swiss bank accounts they suspected belonged to less-than-honest United States citizens. Switzerland begrudgingly complied, and now the Swiss government has released more details on the agreement. While Switzerland’s earlier statements appeared to uphold bank secrecy, last week’s admission that all UBS accounts held by U.S. citizens containing over 1 million Swiss francs (around $1 million) will be disclosed seems to have more seriously undermined the practice. Furthermore, suspicious accounts—once the only ones thought to be in jeopardy of disclosure—will be outed if they contain more than 250,000 francs.
When the U.S. internal revenue service first announced that they would investigate secret bank accounts for tax evasion, authorities estimated around 7,500 U.S. citizens would give themselves up. But in the final days of the disclosure period, that number nearly doubled with 14,700 offshore account holders turning themselves in via handy form letters and the like. The IRS says the voluntary disclosures will raise “billions of dollars” in revenue, according to a Wall Street Journal article.