15K Yanks Turn Selves in for Offshore Tax Cheating

Asia joins Switzerland as hotspot for hidden assets
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 18, 2009 9:57 AM CST
A businesswoman hides a piggy bank behind her back.   (Shutter Stock)

(Newser) – Prodded by the stick of a looming crackdown on offshore tax cheats and the carrot of an IRS amnesty program, some 14,700 rich Americans have turned themselves in, disclosing billions in hidden foreign assets. The "unprecedented" participation in the amnesty program surprised the IRS and advisers to the super-rich alike, Reuters reports.

While many of the newly disclosed accounts were at banks in classic tax haven Switzerland, assets were hidden in more than 70 countries around the world—including many in the Far East, where the IRS is opening a Beijing office to track funds flowing from Europe to Asia.