- Days left

Maybe there just isn't a mattress big enough to stuff that kind of cash. But that's where thousands of UBS's millionaire clients are likely wishing they'd kept their savings, rather than in the illegal offshore accounts now under investigation by the SEC for tax fraud.

Last week, the Swiss banking giant agreed to pay $780 million in fines and turn over the names of 250 U.S. clients. Investigators are now seeking the names of 50,000 more.

So how did UBS convince so many wealthy Americans to risk tax evasion charges? Turns out greed alone wasn't enough. Court documents made public last week show dozens of UBS "advisers" made over 3,500 trips a year to the U.S. from 2002 on to promote the scheme. Mixing business and pleasure, the trips lasted several weeks at a time and included the usual wining and dining with prospects at swank restaurants, hotels and clubs.

Potential clients were also wooed with special access to UBS-sponsored parties and events across the country, from high-end art shows, classical music concerts, professional tennis and golf tournaments and yacht races, federal investigators say. And while corporate logos these days are splashed across anything from lemon stands to commercial spacecraft, Swiss-based UBS prides itself on being a main partner in a number of premiere sports and cultural in the States.

So whether you're into music, art or sports, chances are you've bumped into a few of these million-dollar tax cheats at these and other UBS-sponsored events over the years:

Art Basel Miami Beach
One giant wine and cheeser, Art Basel Miami Beach attracts more than 200 galleries and 2,000 artists from around the globe every year. UBS has been a key sponsor since 2002, about the time it's U.S. tax shelter scheme went into full gear. Talk about the art of the deal.

The Players Championship
A partnership with this PGA tournament in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, allows UBS to offer its VIP guests a hospitality suite with views of the 17th green. Like it's own offshore accounts, UBS describes the course as an "oasis-in-hiding." As golfers say, always keep your eye on the green.

The Ravinia Festival
Sometimes financial instruments can make beautiful music. Set in Chicago from June - September, this classical music fest includes over 120 shows by the likes of Yo-Yo Ma, Joshua Bell and other superstars. A partner since 2002, UBS is also an exclusive sponsor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra, among others.

America's Cup
USB was the first main sponsor of Team Alinghi, the winning yacht at the 32nd America's Cup in 2007. The bank says the partnership has "proven to be a parallel to how UBS approaches relationships with its clients." The most recent missive? Abandon ship!

Deborah Barrow is the Editor-in-Chief of wowOwow.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Getting out of debt

Everyone hates debt. Get out of it.

View Course »

Timing Your Spending

How to pay less by changing when you purchase.

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

Cities with the Lowest Tax Rates

The total amount of tax you pay reaches far beyond what you owe the federal government. Depending on where you live, most likely you're required to pay additional taxes, including property and sales tax. The disparity between the amount of tax you pay in a low-tax city and that in a high-tax city can be dramatic. Living in any of these 10 cities could save you a bundle, although the exact amount may fluctuate based on your income and lifestyle choices.

Cities with the Highest Tax Rates

Much ado is made in the press about federal tax brackets, but cities can carry a tax bite of their own. Even if you live in a state that has no income tax, your city may levy a variety of taxes that could eat away the entire benefit of living in an income tax-free state, including property taxes, sales taxes and auto taxes. Consider all the costs before you move to one of these cities, and understand that rates may change based on your family's income level.

Great Ways to Get Charitable Tax Deductions

Generally, when you give money to a charity, you can use the amount of that donation as a deduction on your tax return. However, not all charities qualify as tax-deductible organizations. While there are many types of charities, they must all meet certain criteria to be classified by the IRS as tax-deductible organizations. There are legitimate tax-deductible organizations in many popular categories, such as those listed below.

A Freelancer's Guide to Taxes

Freelancing certainly has its benefits, but it can result in a few complications come tax time. The Internal Revenue Service considers freelancers to be self-employed, so if you earn income as a freelancer you must file your taxes as a business owner. While you can take additional deductions if you are self-employed, you'll also face additional taxes in the form of the self-employment tax. Here are things to consider as a freelancer when filing your taxes.

Tax Deductions for Voluntary Interest Payments on Student Loans

Most taxpayers who pay interest on student loans can take a tax deduction for the expense ? and you can do this regardless of whether you itemize tax deductions on your return. The rules for claiming the deduction are the same whether the interest payments were required or voluntary.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum