IRS whistleblower program offers a bright future for whistleblowers

Attorney Dean Zerbe (pictured) published an article in Forbes magazine explaining how recent events in the IRS whistleblower program give reasons for whistleblowers to see an even brighter future.

Since 2006, federal law has had a reward system for those who blow the whistle on tax fraud. The program can award a successful whistleblower up to 30% of the IRS recovery that results from the whistleblower’s disclosure. It comes as no surprise that the IRS program is a valuable program. It honors truthful taxpayers, allows the IRS to catch those who evade paying their taxes and seeks to protect whistleblowers.

Senator Grassley of Iowa has been a strong advocate for the advancement of whistleblower protections for several decades. Recently, Steven Miller, Deputy Commissioner and long time supporter for the IRS whistleblower program, responded directly to concerns Senator Grassley raised. In a June 20, 2012 memorandum, Miller established a plan for the IRS to respond to whistleblowers in a more timely fashion when a case is being decided, and to create a timeline for when a case can be approved and an award can be issued to the whistleblower.


Another basis for inspiration comes from the National Whistleblowers Center’s amicus brief in the Insinga case. In this case, the IRS collected information and collected the taxes, yet neglected to inform the whistleblower whether or not an award would be issued. The Tax Court accepted the amicus brief and must now make a decision within 90 days. If the Tax Court would accept the NWC’s arguments, it would be an even bigger step ahead for whistleblowers, giving whistleblowers better protection from IRS delays.

Lastly, the Attorney General’s office in New York provides a new route for whistleblower success, particularly for tax whistleblowers. A new state law allows reward claims to be filed for reporting tax cheats.

Unsure how to present your case effectively to the IRS? Get a lawyer who can help you present detailed information of your case in a coherent and concise manner. Then, be patient as the IRS reviews the examination. Although being a whistleblower may not be an easy task, whistleblowers can, and will, continue to succeed in the future.

This blog post was written by intern Naomi Moker.

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