Offshore Tax Evasion: IRS Has Collected Billions of Dollars, but May be Missing Continued Evasion

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "As of December 2012, the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) four offshore programs have resulted in more than 39,000 disclosures by taxpayers and over $5.5 billion in revenues. The offshore programs attract taxpayers by offering a reduced risk of criminal prosecution and lower penalties than if the unreported income was discovered by one of IRS's other enforcement programs. For the 2009 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP), nearly all program participants received the standard offshore penalty--20 percent of the highest aggregate value of the accounts--meaning the account value ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. March 27, 2013.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "As of December 2012, the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) four offshore programs have resulted in more than 39,000 disclosures by taxpayers and over $5.5 billion in revenues. The offshore programs attract taxpayers by offering a reduced risk of criminal prosecution and lower penalties than if the unreported income was discovered by one of IRS's other enforcement programs. For the 2009 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP), nearly all program participants received the standard offshore penalty--20 percent of the highest aggregate value of the accounts--meaning the account value was greater than $75,000 and taxpayers used the accounts (e.g., made deposits or withdrawals) during the period under review. The median account balance of the more than 10,000 cases closed so far from the 2009 OVDP was $570,000. Participant cases with offshore penalties greater than $1 million represented about 6 percent of all 2009 OVDP cases, but accounted for almost half of all offshore penalties. Taxpayers from these cases disclosed a variety of reasons for having offshore accounts, and more than half of them had accounts at Swiss bank UBS."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • March 27, 2013

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Offshore Tax Evasion: IRS Has Collected Billions of Dollars, but May be Missing Continued Evasion, report, March 27, 2013; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc297893/: accessed December 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.