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Colton UBS Letter

Colton UBS Letter

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Published by Celeste Katz

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Categories:Types, Letters
Published by: Celeste Katz on Jun 04, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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06/04/2010

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May 23, 2010Douglas H. ShulmanCommissionerInternal Revenue Service1111 Constitution Avenue NWWashington, D.C. 20224Re: The impact the UBS scandal has on New York’s budget deficit and the urgent need for the immediate release of all New York clients that participated in the illegal UBS schemeDear Commissioner Shulman, As the federal government is forced to deal with an historic budget shortfall, many states such asNew York are also suffering from record levels of budget red ink. As we in the legislature in New York arerequired to close a painful $9 billion deficit, we have a solemn obligation to put our fiscal house in orderand to be honest with the taxpayers of the state. Unfortunately, many wealthy individuals andcorporations have not been honest on their tax forms and/or met their tax obligations. In effect, theseillegal actions have shifted enormous burdens onto the backs of millions of hard working families.The recent and ongoing investigation of Swiss bank giant UBS sheds new light on the scheme usedby many wealthy individuals to shift the tax burden onto middle and low income families of this country.The size and scope of the UBS scandal is simply breathtaking. According to reports, over the last decadeUBS had helped over 17,000 wealthy American clients set up sham accounts overseas to avoid payingtaxes to the U.S. government. It is estimated that these deceptive tax shelters have cost the federalgovernment billions of dollars in uncollected revenue.What has not been discussed is the cost to states such as New York since it has been reportedmany of the over 17,000 clients live in the Empire state. It is absolutely vital that the New York StateDepartment of Taxation and Finance be immediately given every single name of those clients that live orlived in the state during the time of the illegal activity to account for every single dime that is legally owedto New York’s taxpayers. In an article in Reuters dated April 12, 2010, William Comiskey, New York StateTax Department’s Deputy Commissioner for enforcement, was quoted as saying “That’s really a deep welland I expect we’ll be digging in that well for some time.” The deputy commissioner was referring to the“considerable sums” New York could recoup from UBS clients who have evaded taxes once the federalgovernment starts handing over its data to the states. Deputy Commissioner Comiskey and every relevant government official from Washington, D.C. to Albany, NY should grab a shovel and immediately begindigging up that well. New York has over 19 million volunteers who would be more than glad to assist inthe effort.Only with the immediate release of those names and data will we in New York know howconsiderable these sums are, which I presume to be in the billions of dollars range, including interest,since this activity lasted for over a decade. What we do know is how considerable and devastating theeffects of the cuts that have been proposed in New York will be on working families, seniors, and children. As I write you this letter, plans are being drawn up in my state to close hospitals, lay off nurses and

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