Senate Passes Bill to Curb Penalties for Tax Shelter Investments

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The Senate passes a bill that would limit penalties for individuals and businesses that invest in tax shelters by tying fines to the value of tax benefits received. The Small Business Penalty Fairness Act (S. 2917), passed by unanimous consent, sets the penalty for failure to disclose reportable transactions to IRS at 75 percent of the tax benefit received, to prevent small businesses and individuals from facing huge penalties on transactions that yielded relatively small benefits. The legislation, introduced by Finance Committee Chairman Baucus, carries a minimum penalty of $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for corporations. A maximum penalty of $100,000 for individuals and $200,000 for corporations also would be established under the bill.

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