NY state sees "deep well" of UBS client tax cases

By Joan Gralla

NEW YORK, April 12 (BestGrowthStock) – New York state could glean
considerable sums from UBS (UBSN.VX: ) (UBS.N: ) clients who have
evaded taxes by hiding money in offshore accounts once the
federal government starts handing over its data to the states,
a New York state tax official said.

“That’s really a deep well and I expect we’ll be digging in
that well for some time,” William Comiskey, New York State Tax
Department’s Deputy Commissioner for enforcement, told Reuters
by telephone on Friday.

The state, unlike the U.S. government, has an open-ended
program for people who voluntarily reveal their misdeeds and
some have already turned to it. “People are coming in on their
own,” Comiskey said, adding data were still preliminary.

New York, like California, Florida, Connecticut and New
Jersey, is home to many of the nation’s mega-rich and thus its
residents could include a number of the Swiss bank’s clients.

UBS declined to comment.

Ahead of the April 15 tax filing deadline, U.S. officials
began bringing a wave of suits against UBS clients. For
details, please see: [ID:nN06206697]

In a separate move, New York state is expanding on
analytical programs developed with International Business
Machines Corp (IBM.N: ) to root out tax cheats.

After reaping more than $1 billion since 2004 by uncovering
“questionable” refund claims, New York state is focusing on
lost sales taxes and its multibillion-dollar backlog of
delinquent collections.

A new database will, for example, match the sales total
reported by a national franchiser for a New York store with
what that vendor reports, Comiskey said. The system will also
identify “high-value” targets and recommend whether to start by
contacting them or launch an examination or a criminal probe.

Until now, Comiskey’s 3,000 employees have relied on their
“best gut instinct” to figure out the best approach. “What this
machine would do is give you like a collective memory of what’s
done well and what’s done poorly,” he said.

IBM, which hopes to sell its software and services to other
states, in a statement said: “The plan optimizes the order of
activities agents will take in order to maximize the total
amount of debts collected while taking into consideration the
case load, personnel resources, and the anticipated
effectiveness of the suggested actions.”

Stock Research
(Reporting by Joan Gralla; Editing by Diane Craft)

NY state sees “deep well” of UBS client tax cases