Few American account details from Swiss banks may be given U.S. tax authorities because Washington's amnesty against tax evasion abroad has been so successful, the U.S. ambassador to Switzerland said in an interview Friday.
"That amnesty program has already turned up about 9,000 Americans who've come forward voluntarily to talk about their Swiss bank accounts," said Ambassador Donald S. Beyer Jr.
He noted that a U.S.-Swiss agreement reached in August called for up to 4,450 accounts held by Americans at Swiss banking giant UBS AG to be handed over to the Internal Revenue Service, but only after the U.S. amnesty program.
"Our hope once we finally see the numbers that the actual number of bank records that will be shared will be very, very small," Beyer said in an interview with World Radio Switzerland, based in Geneva.
The U.S.-Swiss agreement was reached in August, but criteria for handing over the account information has been kept secret for 90 days. The details are expected to be disclosed Tuesday.
The amnesty program promised no jail time and reduced penalties for Americans who turned themselves in for failing to report foreign bank accounts.
IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said Oct. 14, the day before the amnesty ended, that more than 7,500 people had come forward for holding undeclared accounts in more than 70 countries.
UBS was not immediately available to comment on Beyer's remarks.