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USB, Singapore, & the IRS...What do these 3 things have in common?

Earlier in 2016, UBS was once again in the cross hairs of the IRS. Only this time, the IRS was pestering UBS’s Singapore operations. Seems the UBS’s Swiss bones have been picked clean and the IRS needs some low hanging fresh meat.

The IRS targeted a US taxpayer that to his misfortune had accounts with UBS in Singapore. The taxpayer was already known to the IRS because the taxpayer had accounts with UBS in Switzerland and was exposed in 2008 when UBS spilled the beans on its US taxpayer customers to Uncle Sam. Seems the IRS asked the taxpayer nicely to turn over his Singapore account details. He ignored them which the IRS didn’t take to kindly. The IRS went to the federal court to compel (the nicety legal way of saying order) UBS to turn over the account documents since its taxpayer essentially thumbed his nose at the IRS. A few months later after some civil conversations, hopefully over a good cup of coffee, UBS conceded and gave the requested information.

Did UBS comply because the IRS came wielding its sword again or did UBS comply because the US taxpayer relented and provided authorization to release his banking information? I don’t think we will know the answer to that question. One thing we do know is that the US is not afraid to continue to go after suspected tax evaders/dodgers/avoiders, even when ultra-secretive countries are involved. So is anyplace secret anymore?