The "Wealth Tax" Contagion Is Rapidly Spreading: Switzerland, Cyprus And Now ....
It was only yesterday that we wrote about comparable problems to those which Russian depositors may (or may not be?) suffering in Cyprus right, this time impacting wealthy Americans and their Swiss bank accounts, where as a result of unprecedented DOJ pressure the local banks will soon breach all client confidentiality and expose all US citizens who still have cash in the former tax haven under the assumption that they are all tax evaders and violators. And in the continuum of creeping wealth taxes which first started in Switzerland, then Cyprus, and soon who knows where else, there was just one question: "The question then is: how many of the oligarchs, Russian or otherwise, who avoided a complete wipe out and total capital controls in Cyprus, will wait to find out if the same fate will befall them in Switzerland? Or Luxembourg? Or Lichtenstein? Or Singapore?" Today we got the answer, and yes it was one of the abovementioned usual suspects. The winner is.... Lichtenstein.
Yes: the little principality that is an even greater tax (evasion) haven for the world's ultra wealthy, even more so than Zurich, Geneva or Zug, is now under Big Brother's microscope.
But fear not. All the other tax havens listed above are quite certainly about to meet the iron, resolute fist of the US Department of Injustice. After all, unlike TBTF banks, depositors are hardly "systemic", and thus Eric Holder and his henchmen will have zero reservations when pursuing the full extent of the (selectively crony) US laws against them.
The U.S. has asked Liechtenstein to hand over data on foundations that may have been used to hide untaxed American money from the Internal Revenue Service, a step that may threaten Swiss banks.
The U.S. wants to know the number of foundations set up by fiduciaries -- lawyers, accountants, financial advisers and asset managers -- for American taxpayers, according to a letter sent by the Department of Justice to authorities in the Alpine principality. A “formal request” to fiduciaries will follow, the DOJ said.
“Seeking documents from the Liechtenstein fiduciaries is an important investigative step,” which will shed light on “the roles of banks, of bankers outside of Liechtenstein,” the Justice Department wrote in the letter, adding that it looked forward to receiving the data by March 29.
The DOJ is investigating at least 11 financial firms, including Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) and Julius Baer Group Ltd. (BAER), for allegedly helping Americans hide money from the IRS. The Liechtenstein request will add to the information the IRS garnered as 38,000 Americans avoided prosecution through an amnesty program, which involved paying back taxes and penalties and disclosing their offshore accounts and bankers.
“It’s a further evolution of the Department of Justice using third-party fiduciaries to gather more information on these structures and the banks involved,” said Milan Patel, a former IRS trial attorney who is now a partner at Zurich-based law firm Anaford AG. “This could be bad news for Switzerland, as the information could be used against more Swiss banks.”
In case anyone is still confused about what is going on, here is the summary: any geographic venue that for whatever reason was once considered a global tax haven in the "Old Normal", be it Switzerland, Greece, Luxembourg, Singapore, or as the case may be Lichtenstein, is now fair game for confiscation and otherwise expropriation of local capital.
Alas, as this money will not be enough to plug what is not a liquidity but global insolvency black hole, which is made worse daily by the endless interventions of central planners, once the deposits of the wealthy at these small, powerless to defend themselves countries is concluded, next come the entities with the really big deposits: the US, the Eurozone, and the grand daddy of them all: China.
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