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The Daily

DOJ May Prosecute Some Participants in IRS's Voluntary Offshore Disclosure Program

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Jul 5, 2016
InspectorTax scofflaws using foreign accounts to hide assets from the IRS could be spared financial penalties if they took part in the voluntary offshore disclosure program, but recent actions by the Department of Justice indicate that criminal penalties are still in play, according to Bloomberg. Having recently received a trove of data from 80 Swiss banks, the IRS and DOJ are now checking their records against claims made by those who took came clean about their tax evasion to see just how forthcoming they were with the truth. If an admission was more of an "admission," then the DOJ plans to prosecute. Already it has found evidence of people telling the truth, but not the whole truth and nothing but the truth, about their tax evasion activities, according to Bloomberg. A Justice Department attorney in the story said in some cases they could theoretically launch an indictment within a day. 

Roughly 84,000  people took part in the IRS voluntary offshore disclosure program, which launched shortly after the government won a series of cases against Swiss banks that were helping Americans evade taxes. As part of the case, the banks handed over data on American account holders in exchange for the banks themselves avoiding prosecution. Of the 84,000 who took part in the program, though, only 30,000 can theoretically be prosecuted, as the remainder provided more information and paid higher penalties in exchange for immunity from prosecution.