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UBS-US deal provisionally back on track

The government has approved an amendment to a deal with the United States over cases of suspected tax evasion by clients of the UBS bank.

The provisional application of the revised UBS protocol permits Switzerland to provide legal assistance in cases not only of tax fraud, but also of continued and serious tax evasion, the Federal Justice Office said on Wednesday.

In January, a ruling by the Swiss Federal Administrative Court threatened to torpedo the US-Swiss agreement reached last August. The court found shortcomings in the deal which the amendment now addresses.

The revised UBS protocol ensures that Switzerland is able to fulfill its obligations under international law, the statement said.

As part of the accord with Washington, Switzerland agreed to process and hand over within 12 months data of up to 4,450 UBS clients suspected of tax dodging.

Because the court blocked the implementation of the original agreement, the Swiss Federal Tax Administration can only take decisions on the basis of the additional protocol.

But before any data is handed over, the amendment must also be approved by parliament, which is expected to vote on it during its June session.

Two parliamentary committees have already spoken out against the provisional application of the protocol, saying both parliamentary chambers should first have a chance to debate it.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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