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Major Swiss banking group issues US tax compliance form to its clients

Credit Suisse Issues US Tax Compliance Form to its Clients

In the ongoing battle of Swiss banking secrecy, FATCA regulations and the tides of disclosure and compliance requirements, Credit Suisse has made one of their boldest moves to date.

In an effort to shift the compliance burden on account holders, Bloomberg recently announced that Credit Suisse issued a letter to US related account holders of Credit Suisse accounts in Switzerland requesting the bank account holder to confirm their compliance with their applicable US Federal/State and FBAR requirements. The form also requires that a paid US tax preparer sign the form substantiating the account holders compliance. We believe that the Credit Suisse clients who received the letter are US Citizens or US Green Card Holders (Permanent Residents) or accounts with a US address. At this point, we believe that the Credit Suisse banking group is the only major Swiss bank to have such requirements and this includes accounts held within their network of banks in Switzerland. The bank requests the form to be completed and submitted by April 23, 2012. If the form is not completed and submitted to Credit Suisse, the banking relationship with the Bank will be terminated.

View the Compliance Form (PDF)

Why is this form important to you?

  • If you have received this form and you do not act, your banking relationship with Credit Suisse will be in jeopardy.
  • If you have self-prepared your US Tax Returns and FBARs to date, you will need to nominate a paid tax preparer for 2011. Self-preparing tax returns will not be an option for Credit Suisse account holders.
  • If you have not previously filed your US Federal/State tax returns or the required FBAR forms in the past, you will have to prove to Credit Suisse that you are US tax compliant in order to keep your Credit Suisse accounts open.
  • If you are not a bank account holder of the Credit Suisse group but do hold a Swiss bank account with another institution, the likelihood of a similar form being issued by another bank is quite high.

Have you received this form and have questions on how to complete the form?

Credit Suisse recommends contacting your Relationship Manager if you have any questions on this form. If you are unsuccessful contacting the bank or require further clarification, please see below.

For current and past clients of the US Tax & Financial, please contact your responsible manager, sign the form, and send the form to our offices.
For prospective clients, please contact our enquiries hotline in each of our global locations:

If you are based in the United States, we suggest you contact our Zurich office by email or call us on +41 44 387 8070 due to the proximity of Credit Suisse contacts.

For individuals who have self-prepared their US tax returns in the past, what should they do?

It is quite understandable that some individuals would choose to prepare their own tax returns. Certain individuals are experienced enough to complete their own forms. Regardless of cost, some individuals use out of the box software or free online tools to assist them in their tax preparation. Their cases may be simple enough and do not require additional advice.

Unfortunately, current Credit Suisse requirements mandate that all US related clients are required to have a paid tax preparer listed in their account details going forward. If this circumstance applies to you, we recommend that you contact one of our offices for further discussion of options.

If you believe that you have reason enough to be exempt from this requirement, you should contact your Credit Suisse relationship manager.

For more information on Voluntary Disclosure, please go to our dedicated compliance and voluntary disclosure page.

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