The US Treasury Department released a statement today on its “Offshore Initiative”, indicating that it has been effective in bringing taxpayers back into compliance with the law.

Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy Pam Olson said, *”Many people have come forward and provided information that is leading us to other promoters and participants. We are hopeful this initiative will aid in stemming the promotion of abusive schemes.”*

Mrs. Olson said taxpayers that have not come forward will be pursued by the Internal Revenue Service and will be subject to more significant penalties and possible criminal sanctions. She pointed out that Treasury and the IRS must ensure that the IRS has the information necessary for it to fully and fairly enforce the tax laws. The voluntary compliance initiative was considered an important source of information.

Treasury will continue its efforts to improve and expand the U.S.’s broad network of bilateral tax treaties and tax information exchange agreements. Said Mrs. Olson, {*I}”Better tax information exchange relationships will permit the IRS to obtain the information it needs from other countries so it can pursue taxpayers attempting to hide income offshore to avoid their tax obligations.”*