Senator Grassley Highlights IRS Whistleblower Program in Tax Season Q&A

Piggy bank, calculator, and glasses on financial documents

In a short question and answer post on his website, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) highlighted the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) whistleblower program

The post aims to educate taxpayers on what they should know before filing their returns for 2022. Grassley describes himself as a “longtime taxpayer watchdog” who keeps “the IRS on a short leash to prioritize taxpayer services.” He voices concerns about accountability and transparency at the IRS and discusses bills he has co-sponsored and introduced with other legislators.

As the former chairman of the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee, I’m all for improving tax compliance and narrowing the tax gap. That’s why I’ve worked to put meat on the bones of budget-responsible programs to catch tax cheats and collect tax debts,” Grassley writes. “Between the IRS Private Debt Collection Program and the IRS whistleblower program that I’ve long championed, the federal government has collected nearly $10 billion from non-compliant taxpayers.” 

Grassley says that “the IRS whistleblower program is structured to help expose tax fraud by corporations and wealthy tax cheats.” Lastly, he answers a question about the Taxpayer Advocate Service and its function.

Like the False Claims Act, the IRS Whistleblower Program offers monetary awards to qualified whistleblowers who voluntarily provide the government with original information about misconduct. “Since the IRS whistleblower award law was revamped by Congress in 2006, with reforms championed by Senator Grassley, the IRS has awarded whistleblowers over $1 billion based on the collection of over $6 billion in back taxes, interest, penalties, and criminal fines and sanctions,” previous WNN reporting states. 

“In recent years, however, the IRS Whistleblower Program has been plagued by a number of issues. The program’s 2021 annual report to Congress revealed that the annual total of money recovered by the whistleblower program fell from $1.44 billion in Fiscal Year 2018 to just $245 million in Fiscal Year 2021,” WNN reported. 

According to WNN, “on June 15 2021, Grassley and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced the IRS Whistleblower Program Improvement Act of 2021. The bill, which is supported by whistleblower advocacy groups, makes several reforms to the IRS Whistleblower Program in order to improve the program’s operations and better protect whistleblowers who expose tax fraud.”

Read Grassley’s Q&A here. 

Read more IRS whistleblower news on WNN

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