Minnesota's Department of Revenue will give residents who have used abusive tax shelters until Jan. 31 to amend their tax returns without facing new penalties passed during the 2005 special legislative session.

Under the voluntary compliance program, taxpayers can escape the newly created penalties, which authorize the department to assess stiff punishment on taxpayers who participate in, or promote, tax avoidance schemes. After the six-month window of opportunity, the department will officially step up enforcement efforts in the area.

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