The US Department of Justice and Swiss banking major UBS have asked a federal court to delay a trial of UBS officials in the US, indicating the two governments are nearer to a deal on tax evasion by some of the bank's US customers.
Earlier the Swiss government had moved in to threatened UBS AG, the country's biggest bank, that it would rather seize its documents related to data of 52,000 US clients than allow the bank to transfer them to US courts (See: Switzerland to defy US; threatens to seize UBS client data).
UBS is accused by the US Federal authorities of facilitating tax evasion for its American customers by concealing their ownership of assets held offshore through bogus entities and then filing IRS forms falsely claiming the entities owned the accounts.
The order, issued by a US district judge in Miami, allowed the US Internal Revenue Service to serve a summons on UBS to obtain information on possible fraud by people with unestablished identities.
The two parties have asked the court to defer hearing on the case until 3 August to help them "to continue their discussions seeking a resolution of this matter."
The planned trial was aimed at forcing UBS to reveal the identities of 52,000 rich Americans suspected of having stashed away billions of dollars in secret Swiss bank accounts to evade taxes.