At one point in time, Switzerland was considered by many as the safest and most confidential place to deposit assets.
Times have changed.
Globes Israel has recently reported that major Swiss banks are now demanding that their Israeli clients present confirmation that the property on deposit has been properly reported to the Israeli tax authorities.
Failing to comply with the request from the Swiss bankers could lead to freezing the assets in the account.
And transferring funds to another bank will not be an easy task. Before most reputable banks will open a new account, detailed information regarding to the source of funds must be provided.
The change in banking policies is connected to the penalties that the US government imposed on and collected from Swiss banks in the fight against tax evasion. The new American FATCA rules require banks to report assets they hold belonging to US Persons directly to the US tax authority.
This new disclosure environment is now spilling over to other countries.
Furthermore, the OECD is formulating global standards for the sharing of banking information between countries.
Using the various voluntary disclosure programs is a much safer and usually much less costly means of setting yourself right with the tax authorities.
If the tax authorities find you first, you will not only have to face the civil charges and penalties, but you may also be exposed to criminal penalties.