The US Internal Revenue Service has issued a court petition to make UBS turn over the Singapore bank account records of US citizen Ching-Ye Hsiaw, Bloomberg reported.
According to IRS agent James Oertel, Hsiaw has moved to China and the IRS has not had success in obtaining relevant financial information from him.
In addition, citing bank secrecy laws in Singapore, UBS has ”failed to produce the Singapore-based records” of Hsiaw, Oertel wrote in a declaration, and he wants UBS to explain why by March 31.
“Even if Singapore's bank secrecy laws, as UBS contends, precludes disclosure of the summoned bank records relating or pertaining to Hsiaw's Singapore account(s), international comity requires that the records be disclosed,” Oertel wrote.
“The interest of the United States in combating tax evasion by US taxpayers through the use of secret foreign bank accounts substantially outweighs the interest of Singapore in preserving the privacy of its bank customers. As a consequence, judicial enforcement of the summons is required.”
The IRS has taken legal action against UBS in a past case involving bank account secrecy.
In 2014, in a separate case, the IRS sentenced Martin Lack, a former UBS banker, to five years of probation and ordered to pay a $7,500 fine. “Lack was charged in August 2011 with conspiracy to defraud the United States,” the IRS said. “He assisted US customers to open and maintain secret bank accounts.”