WASHINGTON — The IRS is extending the Wednesday deadline for international tax dodgers to apply for an amnesty program in order to give a rush of applicants more time to prepare their paperwork.

WASHINGTON — The IRS is extending the Wednesday deadline for international tax dodgers to apply for an amnesty program in order to give a rush of applicants more time to prepare their paperwork.

More than 3,000 Americans hiding assets overseas have applied for the program, which promises no jail time and reduced penalties for tax cheats who come forward, said a government official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The Internal Revenue Service plans to announce today that the program will be extended until Oct. 15, said the official.

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.