Swiss and US hold tax settlement talks

Switzerland and the United States are in advanced talks on a multibillion-dollar deal for handling questions of tax fraud.

This content was published on June 10, 2011 minutes and agencies

Three current and former US government officials briefed on the matter told Reuters news agency how the deal would let several Swiss and European banks join a common settlement and avoid potential US prosecution for helping wealthy Americans dodge taxes.

The sources spoke on Thursday on condition of anonymity, citing the wide-ranging investigation of Swiss and European banks by the two agencies.

As part of the agreement under discussion, known as a global resolution, US government agencies would invite the banks to pay a fine, exit their undeclared offshore banking businesses for Americans, and turn over client names to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the justice department.

In exchange, the agencies would drop an on-going investigation into the banks.

It could not immediately be determined which banks could be invited to participate in the global resolution.

While US and Swiss authorities were still working out the details, an announcement of a settlement could come as early as July, the sources said.

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