The recent scandals involving tax evasion by some Americans (who had assets in secret Swiss bank accounts) are still playing out. The Swiss Cabinet recently announced a new program that would allow about a dozen Swiss banks to provide the United States Department of Justice with information on bank accounts held by Americans. The Justice Department continues to pursue financial institutions involved in facilitating unlawful tax evasion by U.S. citizens.
Needless to say, these abuses will now adversely affect many Americans who legitimately hold funds overseas. There is now more effort in opening overseas accounts; and some Swiss banks will not even accept American clients. This is not a new story: abuses by a few often ruin things for everyone. There are very legitimate reasons for an American to invest funds overseas. It is unfortunate that this is becoming more difficult.