National

Oct 14, 2009 2:45 PM by Stephen Ohlemacher

7,500 tax dodgers apply for IRS amnesty program

The IRS says 7,500 international tax dodgers have applied for an amnesty program that promises no jail time and reduced penalties for tax cheats who come forward.

IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman says response to the program has been unprecedented. He said the tax dodgers were hiding money in more than 70 countries and on every continent except Antarctica. Accounts ranged from just over $10,000 to more than $100 million.

The IRS has long had a policy that certain tax evaders who come forward before they are contacted by the agency usually can avoid jail time as long as they agree to pay back taxes, interest and hefty penalties.

In March, the IRS began a program that sweetened the offer with reduced penalties. It ends Thursday.

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