The Internal Revenue Service has again extended the deadline for taxpayers to make voluntary disclosures of the unreported income they have stashed in hidden offshore accounts, but warned this would be the final extension.

The deadline was supposed to be this Wednesday, Sept. 23, but has been extended an additional 22 days, with a new deadline of Oct. 15. “Those taxpayers who do not voluntarily disclose their hidden accounts by the new deadline face much harsher civil penalties, where applicable, and possible criminal prosecution,” said the IRS.

IRS officials decided to extend the deadline after receiving repeated requests from tax practitioners and attorneys around the country following an influx of taxpayer requests. By extending the deadline for a short period of time, the IRS said it is providing relief for those taxpayers who had intended to come forward prior to the deadline, but faced logistical and administrative challenges in meeting it. The extension will allow tax preparers and attorneys the necessary time to interview and advise their backlog of taxpayers with these hidden accounts, and prepare the necessary paperwork to qualify for the special penalty provisions.

The IRS has been inundated with requests, having received over 3,000 applications so far this year. Last year, the IRS received only 88 applications. Many of the applications have come from former clients of UBS, which has agreed to hand over 4,450 client names under a deal with the Justice Department and the Swiss government.

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