Washington (March 31, 2004) -- The average penalties for pursuing frivolous cases to delay tax collections increased to $5,509 during the past year, up from an average of $3,316 during the previous period, the Internal Revenue Service reported.

"The courts are increasingly recognizing the need to impose penalties on taxpayers pursuing frivolous cases," said IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson. "During the past year, we saw bigger penalties than we did for the two previous years combined."

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