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WASHINGTON — The House on Wednesday sent a message to Iran that pursuit of nuclear capability will not go unpunished, approving legislation that allows state and local governments to curtail investments in international corporations doing business in Iran's energy sector.
The legislation also protects from shareholder lawsuits those investment managers who divest funds from companies that are involved in Iran's energy sector or have provided equipment for the transport of oil or liquefied natural gas from Iran.
The bill passed the House 414-6 and now goes to the Senate.
The bill does not impose new sanctions, said its author, Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass.
"What it does is to make it very clear that Americans who are deeply concerned about the prospect of Iranian nuclear power, and other aspects of Iranian governance, that they are able to act on those (concerns)," he said.
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WASHINGTON — Some 7,500 international tax dodgers have applied for an amnesty program that promises no jail time and reduced penalties for tax cheats who come forward, the Internal Revenue Service announced Wednesday.
The tax dodgers were hiding money in more than 70 countries and on every continent except Antarctica. Accounts ranged from just over $10,000 to more than $100 million.
Response to the program has been unprecedented, IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said.
"The whole idea of this program was to get people in and get them on the right side of the law," Shulman said.
The IRS long has had a policy that certain tax evaders who come forward before they are contacted by the agency usually can avoid jail time as long as they agree to pay back taxes, interest and hefty penalties. Drug dealers and money launderers need not apply. But if the money was earned legally, tax evaders can usually avoid criminal prosecution.