Switzerland, U.S. Aim to Conclude Tax Talks by End of 2012

Jan. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Switzerland and the United States aim to conclude talks about off-shore bank accounts by the end of the year.

“We’ve said that at the end of 2012 we want to end these negotiations,” Swiss Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf told reporters today in Davos after a meeting with her U.S. counterpart Timothy Geithner.

The U.S. is in talks with the Alpine country to resolve a dispute over offshore tax evasion that led to the indictment of client advisers at Swiss banks. The U.S. Justice Department had set a deadline of Jan. 23 for 11 Swiss banks to disclose information on all transactions with U.S. customers since 2000, Neue Zuercher Zeitung reported earlier this month.

“I have expressed that we’ve been in talks for a year, that we’ve invested a lot of time and energy to propose a fair solution,” Widmer-Schlumpf said. “Amounts were already discussed on a technical level. Our aim, and he agreed, is to find a solution where we won’t be confronted with a question about the past every year.”

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To contact the reporter on this story: Simone Meier in Zurich at smeier@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Matthias Wabl at mwabl@bloomberg.net