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Discuss issues related to business, finance, taxes, investments, cost of living in different countries, etc.
7 posts • Page 1 of 1
http://www.france24.com/en/20130529-swi ... ax-evasion
29 MAY 2013 - 12H59
Swiss strike deal with US over tax evasion
AFP - Switzerland has accepted a United States demand to settle a dispute over the alleged complicity of Swiss banks in tax evasion by Americans, Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf announced Wednesday.
"This is both a good and a practical solution," Widmer-Schlumpf told reporters after a cabinet meeting approved the draft accord.
She indicated that the Swiss government had been presented with a take it or leave it offer by Washington.
"It was a unilateral offer, one that we couldn't negotiate," she said.
She declined to give details of the sum that the banks will have to pay US revenue authorities in order to win legal closure, though Swiss media have reported that the overall figure could hit 10 billion Swiss francs ($10.3 billion, 8.0 billion euros).
"If a bank has done a lot of business involving undeclared American funds, it will be a big problem for it," she underlined.
She rejected reports that the Swiss taxpayer would have to come up with at least part of the funds.
"Switzerland will pay nothing," she insisted.
This is just one bank. Some branches of a bank will require paperwork such as a work permit, other branches of the very same bank will not. However, I have something like 6 or 7 accounts now. Some were opened with no visa, some with a visa and work permit. Like I said, it's not a big problem to open an account here. If someone wants to open an account at Bangkok Bank, print out the info from their own website.
Last edited by anamericaninbangkok on June 20th, 2013, 5:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
In early 2012, I walked into the Avenue Branch of Kasikorn Bank, took a number, and when it was my turn, slapped down my US Passport, filled in a bit of paperwork, made a token deposit, and was sorted-out with an account, online banking, and an ATM card in less than an hour.
Many years ago, I also opened up a Bangkok Bank account at main branch in Silom. Again, passport was sufficient documentation. But they didn't allow for Internet banking without work permit, just telephone banking, ATM, and other regular deposit account services.
It's gotten very hard to open investment type bank accounts. After this Swiss-US tax row erupted a few years ago, my bank in Switzerland gave me 3 months to completely move out my assets and close my accounts just because I am a US person. It was challenging too cus I had some hedge fund holdings which needed like 6 month advance notice to liquidate. So I had to find another bank which would set-up a custodial account and allow for a direct asset transfer. It was very challenging as I got rejected by over 20 banks throughout Europe. I finally found one bank in Andorra which took me on.
I think after the smoke clears, the banks which become totally compliant with FATCA in a couple years may start taking on US clients again. At the moment, it's still tough in many places and has gotten tighter. Even in some cases for commercial bank deposit accounts. For example, I used to be able to open a bank account in Bradesco Bank in Brazil with just a passport but no more. However, my old account got grandfathered in. I recently tried to open bank accounts here in Phis but it doesn't seem possible with just a passport at any of the banks I've tried here.