Officials in Canada set to ask UBS tax questions

Canadian tax officials reportedly plan to meet bankers from Switzerland's UBS in the coming weeks in a bid to uncover Canadian fortunes hidden in offshore accounts.

This content was published on August 22, 2009 - 13:27

The country's national revenue minister, Jean-Pierre Blackburn, told the Agence France Presse news agency that if UBS did not cooperate "we'll go to court to get the information".

The September talks between UBS and the Canada Revenue Agency follow an out-of-court deal settling a United States lawsuit against UBS to reveal account information in their hunt for tax evaders.

"What happened in the US gave us a hint of the possibly large number of Canadians who might have hidden funds abroad and not declared them," Blackburn said.

He noted that Ottawa did not know how many Canadians are using tax havens and avoid declaring their taxable income.

But at least seven Canadians have come forward since the UBS case made headlines to reveal previously undeclared income, he said.

On Wednesday, the Swiss agreed to process a US request for information on 4,450 UBS American clients who are suspected of tax fraud in return for ending the lawsuit against the bank.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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