The recent Internal Revenue Service report indicating that it collected $3.2 billion from 1,165 taxpayers from the "Son of Boss" tax shelter scheme may just be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to filling government coffers. Hundreds of individuals and corporations are still fighting in court, while most likely thousands of other tax shelter participants who have yet to be investigated should consider stepping forward, rather than waiting to be targeted.While usually poker-faced, the IRS this time around seems publicly pleased with what it has achieved, and the odds are good that we will see more of these kinds of settlement offers to help clean up a number of other popular abusive tax shelters. As numerous stories reported, the IRS recently announced a settlement initiative for executives who transferred millions of dollars of compensatory stock options to trusts and other vehicles owned by family members and then claimed that the exercise of those options and sale of the stock was not taxable to them.
These settlement initiatives are important because there are thousands of tax shelter audits and investigations currently open, and the IRS simply does not have the manpower to take every one to court - hence, they'll need to devise creative ways to reduce the caseload.
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