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The IRS is in the middle of a major offensive against wealthy taxpayers who are hiding income overseas to avoid taxes.
An estimated 19,000 American citizens were hiding taxable assets in the Swiss Bank UBS with the encouragement and assistance of the bank itself, the government alleges. UBS is now cooperating and has paid a $780 million fine to avoid prosecution.
"There's a lot of people who apparently had a lot of money, but a low IQ, who thought they could actually hide this money from the IRS and not pay income tax on it," said Ken Kies, former chief of staff of the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation and managing director of Federal Policy Group.
Federal workers owe more than $3 billion in income taxes they failed to pay in 2008. According to Internal Revenue Service documents, 276,300 federal employees and retirees owe $3,042,200,000.