Tax evaders are rushing to the IRS, cash in hand, thanks to a partial amnesty program aimed at recovering money in offshore bank accounts. In all 12,000 tax cheats came forward, the agency announced yesterday, bringing in a total of $2.7 billion. “The results we’re seeing today were unthinkable just a few short years ago,” IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman tells Bloomberg, chalking it up to stepped-up enforcement efforts.
“The world has clearly changed,” Shulman says. “You’d have to be living in a hole not to know that the US government is really focused on offshore tax evasion, getting better at it.” The deal, which was offered from February to last week, offered tax evaders reduced (if still significant) penalties, and promised they’d serve no jail time, the AP explains. Past amnesty programs have typically pulled in only about 100 cheats each, with the notable exception of a similar blockbuster program in 2009. (Read more IRS stories.)