IRS settles with 14,700 over foreign accounts

November 17, 2009 7:59:41 AM PST
The Internal Revenue Service says more than 14,700 U.S. taxpayers with offshore accounts in 70 foreign countries have come forward to settle their tax debts.

IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman says a flood of people came forward as an Oct. 15 deadline approached for the amnesty program. The program generally allowed people to avoid criminal prosecution if they agreed to pay taxes, interest and penalties.

Shulman says those taxpayers represent billions of dollars in taxes returning to the U.S.

The voluntary disclosure program was a major part of a U.S. crackdown on offshore tax havens. Swiss bank UBS AG earlier this year agreed to disclose names of some 4,450 taxpayers believed to be hiding income.

Several UBS customers have been charged criminally.

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