After revealing 4,450 names of wealthy Americans who held secret offshore accounts with Swiss bank UBS in August to the US, (See: US breaches Switzerland's banking citadel; UBS to reveal 4,450 names) the Swiss banking giant, is now bracing to defend itself from a flood of legal suits likely to be filed by clients affected by its action.
UBS had faced a harrowing time forover a year from the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the US Justice Department (DoJ) (See: UBS under US investigation for tax evasion; senior executive detained) to reveal names of 52,000 Americans who evaded paying taxes in the US by holding offshore or unaccounted accounts.
In a settlement arrived with the IRS and DoJ last month, UBS will reveal the names of its American clients in small batches starting November in order to put pressure on the 52,000 other American UBS clients to come clean voluntarily.
But a large number of these American clients are likely to file court cases in Switzerland for breaching an agreement of confidentiality and have the right to appeal against UBS handing over the data to the US.
The IRS had earlier given the tax evaders an amnesty until 23 September 2009, to enable them to voluntarily come forward and pay their taxes with a penalty.
The amnesty period has now been extended to 15 October after tax practitioners and attorneys around the country requested for an extension as people faced logistical problems coming forward.