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February 21, 2014updated 04 Apr 2017 2:29pm

US Senate committee to focus on offshore tax evasion

The US Senate Permanent Subcommittee is expected to focus primarily on offshore tax evasion crackdown in its upcoming hearing next week.

By Verdict Staff

The US Senate Permanent Subcommittee is expected to focus primarily on offshore tax evasion crackdown in its upcoming hearing next week.

The hearing, which is scheduled to be held on 26 February, will focus on the status of probes to hold Swiss banks and their US clients accountable for unpaid taxes on billions of dollars in hidden assets, reported Bloomberg.

The delay in the hearing comes after the prosecutors conducted criminal probes of 14 banks, including Credit Suisse Group AG.

According to the committee, the witnesses for the hearing will be an unidentified Swiss bank and the Justice Department.

Nathan Hochman, a former assistant attorney general who oversaw the Justice Department’s tax division, said: "I’m certain that Senator Levin will inquire as to the status of the investigations with respect to these banks."

Since 2009, more than 43,000 Americans have avoided prosecution via an amnesty program at the IRS, paying $US6 billion in back taxes, fines and penalties.

Kathryn Keneally, the assistant attorney general overseeing the tax division, said: "In the last five years, we’ve seen a remarkable change in our ability to get information concerning Swiss bank accounts. It’s extraordinary. Switzerland is no longer a good place to hide assets for tax reasons."

"Every Swiss bank that comes forward to cooperate under the program represents an opportunity to obtain valuable law enforcement information from a source that is new to the department’s investigations of offshore banking activities in Switzerland and throughout the world," Keneally added.

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