Got money off-shore? Come clean with the IRS to avoid criminal charges and receive the benefit of much lighter penalties, too. The IRS issued a statement saying it will move to collect only 20 percent, and in some cases as little as 5 percent, of assets in previously undisclosed offshore bank accounts. Normal penalties can exceed the account balance in cases of deliberate efforts to conceal the money. The penalty will be in addition to back taxes and interest for as many as six years and additional IRS penalties on taxes owed.

“We believe this guidance is a firm but fair resolution of these cases,” says IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman. “For taxpayers who continue to hide their head in the sand, the situation will only become more dire.”

While a six-shooter and some Navy SEALS can help you with the pirates of the sea, this may be your last chance for a clean getaway from the IRS. With the recent UBS client disclosure and the continual pressure on them to disclose up to 52,000 names of American clients, the IRS and Department of Justice are gunning for those that deliberately hide money overseas or in off-shore accounts.

The IRS said the number of people voluntarily disclosing they have an offshore account has more than doubled in the last year. That number is expected to grow as a result of the new guidelines… so you better take your chances before they sift through all the data and find you first!