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U.S. Gives Swiss Banks More Time to Come Clean


ZURICH--The U.S. Justice Department has given some Swiss banks that may have helped wealthy Americans hide assets an extra month to hand over information about their activities.

The banks taking part in a disclosure program have until July 31 to provide information about their U.S. client businesses, the Justice Department said Thursday.

The Justice Department said it had extended the deadline for the so-called category 2 banks from the original June 30 date because some banks had had difficulty obtaining evidence over whether accounts had been declared to the Internal Revenue Service.

Category 2 banks in the self-reporting program, set up by the Justice Department as part of its crack down on tax evasion, have agreed to examine their books and compile information about how they set up Swiss accounts for U.S. clients.

The Justice Department has said that 106 Swiss banks, roughly a third of the country's total, already have committed to this category of the program. It allows banks to pay penalties for undeclared accounts in exchange for eligibility for nonprosecution agreements.

Last month Credit Suisse Group AG, Switzerland's second-largest bank, pleaded guilty in a Virginia court to aiding tax evasion and agreed to pay $2.6 billion to settle the case. Credit Suisse wasn't part of the Justice Department program.

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