The Internal Revenue Service outlined the steps it plans to take to close the approximately $290 billion tax gap by encouraging more people and businesses to voluntarily pay what they owe the government, but it still faces an uphill battle.

The IRS Oversight Board has set an 86 percent voluntary compliance goal by 2009. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., has an even more ambitious 90 percent goal by 2017. One way the IRS plans to meet the goals is to reduce the opportunities for tax evasion.

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