In what is shaping up to be the biggest tax investigation in the country, the IRS is seeking more information from taxpayers who have confessed to hiding their assets in offshore accounts. Some of the information sought includes who helped them set up their accounts, how they moved their money, and where they met their advisers. Taxpayers who do not cooperate with the IRS investigations could be liable to charges of tax crimes.
The IRS conducted a voluntary disclosure program in 2009 that saw about 15,000 taxpayers step forward to declare details of their offshore accounts and pay up the taxes they owe including penalties, fines and interests. After the close of the program in October that year, another 4,000 taxpayers came forth to fess up. In addition, Swiss bank UBS paid $780 million to the IRS after it admitted assisting American taxpayers evade taxes in their bank accounts. The bank was also compelled to disclose the details of bank accounts of 250 American customers suspected of tax evasion and later another 4,400 or so more in order to avoid civil prosecution by the IRS.
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