The Government Accountability Office has asked Congress to consider enacting a statute period longer than three years for taxpayers involved in questionable offshore activities.

The GAO said it began researching the effects of the existing statute based on the fact that numerous illegal offshore schemes have been devised to hide or disguise the true ownership of income streams and assets. According to its recently issued report, the GAO said that under the current three-year statute, the additional time needed to complete an offshore examination often results in the Internal Revenue Service having to prematurely end offshore examinations, or choose not to open an investigation at all, despite evidence of likely noncompliance.

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