USA requests administrative assistance in UBS case

Bern, 31.08.2009 - The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) today filed a request for administrative assistance with the Federal Tax Administration (FTA) concerning approximately 4,450 UBS accounts. Under the agreement of 19 August 2009 between Switzerland and the USA, the request must be processed by the FTA within one year.

The FTA will expedite the request for administrative assistance. The project organisation appointed for this purpose has already started its work. The project organisation is made up of approximately 40 legal experts and tax experts recruited from within the administration. These experts will attend to the sovereign core tasks, in particular the issuing of conclusive decrees. In addition there will be up to 30 experts from an audit company who will be under the supervision of the FTA and will investigate the circumstances of each case. The procedures will be overseen by the project manager Hans-Jörg Müllhaupt appointed by the Federal Council on 19 August 2009.

In accordance with the agreement, the FTA must now issue a conclusive decree on surrendering the information requested in the initial 500 cases within 90 days. For the remaining conclusive decrees, there is a deadline of 360 days. For its part, UBS must provide the client information mentioned in the request for administrative assistance and prepare it for processing by the FTA. UBS has undertaken to do so in a separate agreement with the IRS.

The procedural rights of the persons concerned, in particular the right to examine the records, will be guaranteed as part of the FTA's administrative assistance procedures. These include the right to file an appeal against the conclusive decrees of the FTA with the Federal Administrative Court. Before a conclusive decree from the FTA is available, the Swiss authorities will not furnish the US authorities with any client data. In accordance with Swiss law, early release of the client data is expressly prohibited.

Address for enquiries

Beat Furrer, Head of Communications, Federal Tax Administration, tel. 031 324 91 29.


Federal Department of Finance