ZURICH, June 6 The U.S. Department of Justice on
Thursday extended for one month the deadline for so-called
category two Swiss banks suspected of helping wealthy Americans
evade taxes to turn over information by one month.
More than 100 banks that have a reason to believe they may
have committed tax offences, defined as category two banks,
have signed up to the programme. They are eligible for a
non-prosecution agreement if they come clean and face fines.
The banks now have until July 31 to turn over the necessary
information. The Justice Department said it had extended the
original June 30 deadline because some banks were having trouble
verifying whether an account was undeclared or disclosed in a
timely manner to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.
The Swiss government-brokered programme requires the
category two banks to hand over some previously hidden
information and face penalties equivalent to up to 50 percent of
the assets they managed on behalf of wealthy Americans.
Last month Credit Suisse, which was one of 14
category one banks, became the largest bank in decades to plead
guilty to a U.S. criminal charge and will pay more than $2.5
billion in penalties for helping Americans evade taxes.
(Reporting by Joshua Franklin; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)