Rich Cheats Handed Over $2.7 Billion in Taxes on Offshore Accounts

Still, that's only a "fraction" of the money that rich people have been stowing away

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The rich pay taxes differently, apparently, than you and me. Today the IRS said that a total of 30,000 individuals have come forward in a voluntary disclosure program for tax cheats that already has yielded the IRS $2.7 billion from offshore bank accounts in places like Switzerland and Bermuda, according to reports from the AP and Bloomberg. And yet, as one tax attorney told Bloomberg, it's "still only a fraction of the people who have these accounts." The word "voluntarily" in the paragraph above maybe deserved some quotation marks, because the alternative to coming clean for a lot of these tax evaders is prosecution. The IRS has been cracking down on the wealthy who funnel money to offshore accounts as of late. "The results we’re seeing today were unthinkable just a few short years ago," IRS head honcho Douglas Shulman told the press today. "The world has clearly changed." But this may be it for the well-to-do willing to disclose. There had been two rounds of the program so far, and another tax attorney interviewed by Bloomberg doubts there will be a third one, given the moral hazard further rounds create. "It would be like catching a bus. You miss one and you wait for the next one," he said. Time to draw up the indictments.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.