Swiss and U.S. authorities have held informal exploratory talks that touched on regularizing untaxed money held by wealthy Americans in secret Alpine accounts, a spokesman for a finance ministry office said.This is a tricky situation for the U.S. Department of Justice. It's often legal to bank overseas tax-free; the U.S. government's tax-collecting bureaucrats don't like it, but that doesn't make it illegal. Nevertheless, it looks like Eric Holder is going after tax havens.
The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is a U.S. bill adopted in March 2010 that forces non-U.S. banks to automatically share a vast amount of information regarding the bank dealings of their U.S. clients.
In 2009 Berne agreed to hand over to Washington bank data relating to 4,450 clients of UBS, piercing a hole in Swiss bank secrecy laws.
The U.S. Department of Justice continues to go aggressively after U.S. citizens who have hidden assets abroad, with a senior U.S. Internal Revenue Service figure saying this month the authority was about to probe at least one bank.