7,500 offshore tax evaders come clean – U.S.tax chief

By Reuters Staff
October 14, 2009

U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Douglas Shulman speaks during an interview with Reuters at his office in Washington October 8, 2009. To match interview TAX-OFFSHORE/        REUTERS/Hyungwon Kang  (UNITED STATES CRIME LAW BUSINESS POLITICS) WASHINGTON, Oct 14 (Reuters) – Thousands of wealthy Americans have volunteered information about unreported income hidden in overseas accounts ahead of the deadline for a U.S. government tax amnesty program, the U.S. tax commissioner said on Wednesday.

Roughly 7,500 Americans have taken part in the amnesty program, more than double the participation reported a few weeks ago, Doug Shulman, commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, told reporters during a briefing. The amnesty program ends on Thursday.

The IRS is expanding its offshore tax crackdown and will open new criminal offices in Beijing, Sydney and Panama, Shulman said. “The IRS has new momentum in this entire area and in the coming months our efforts will only intensify,” he said.

Under the amnesty program that began in September, tax cheats can declare offshore income, pay reduced fines and get general immunity from criminal prosecution. The program turned up undeclared income from offshore accounts ranging from $10,000 to more than $100 million, Shulman said.

(Reporting by Kim Dixon; Editing by Diane Craft)

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