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The U.S. government and Switzerland have reached an agreement that could expose Americans who have used Swiss banks to avoid paying taxes.
The agreement will allow Swiss banks to settle any potential U.S. charges if they disclose extensive information about their American clients, the value of their accounts and any help they received from tax professionals.
Those settlements would include penalties for Swiss banks that helped their U.S. customers avoid taxes, according to a senior Justice Department official.
The total penalties could top $1 billion, the official said. The department could also use the information to prosecute Americans for tax evasion.