The attorneys at The Employment Law Group® law firm have experience representing whistleblowers in disclosing federal tax fraud or underpayments.
IRS Whistleblower Reward Program
Under the IRS Whistleblower Reward Program, an individual who exposes tax fraud can receive an award ranging from 15% to 30% of the proceeds recovered by the IRS. To qualify for an award, the tax, penalties, interest, additions to tax, and additional amounts in dispute must exceed $2,000,000 and, if the allegedly noncompliant person is an individual, the individual's gross income must exceed $200,000.
After the IRS completes an investigation, the Whistleblower Office will issue a final determination regarding the whistleblower's award amount. If the whistleblower feels that the award does not adequately reflect his or her whistleblower contributions, the whistleblower may appeal the IRS's decision to the Tax Court within 30 days.
What protection is available for the Tax Fraud Whistleblower?
The IRS will maintain the confidentiality of the whistleblower's identity throughout the initial investigation process. If however, the whistleblower's testimony is needed in a judicial proceeding to further the IRS' investigation, the whistleblower's identity may be revealed.
What types of Activities are Considered Tax Fraud?
Examples of tax fraud or evasion include:
1. Deliberately underreporting or
2. Claiming false deductions;
3. Hiding or transferring assets or income;
4. Overstating the amount of deductions;
5. Making false entries in records;
6. Failing to report income earned in a stock exchange;
7. Maintaining two sets of books;
8. Misusing trusts; and
9. Abusing charitable deductions.
Timeframe for Filing an IRS Whistleblower Disclosure
The statute of limitations for making a disclosure under the IRS Whistleblower Reward Program is three years from the time the tax return was filed, but if the disclosure concerns an omission in excess of 25% of the gross income stated in a tax return filed with the IRS, the statute of limitations extends to six years. The statute of limitations does not apply where a false or fraudulent tax reurn was filed with the intent to commit tax evasion.
Duration of IRS Investigations
IRS investigations can take years to complete but a detailed disclosure can shorten the process. Payment of awards will not be made until there is a final determination of the tax liability that is owed to the IRS and the owed funds are collected by the IRS.
What Types of Disclosures Will Result in a Whistleblower Reward?
A disclosure is more likely to result in
an award if it includes documentation of
fraudulent transactions, a solid paper
trail, and detailed evidence
demonstrating tax fraud. Disclosures
that are speculative or lack concrete
evidence of tax underpayment may not
result in a whistleblower award. Where
two whistleblowers disclose the same
fraud, the whistleblower who made the
original disclosures will receive the
If you have information about tax fraud or tax underpayment, contact The Employment Law Group® law firm at 1-888-603-0983 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Employment Law Group® law firm has written about the IRS Whistleblower Rewards Program for the following publications:
“Blowing the Whistle on Tax Fraud Reaps Rewards,” SmartPros (March 2009)
"Tax Fraud Whistleblower Protection," Avvo (September 2008)
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ABOUT THE FIRM
The Employment Law Group® law firm represents employees nationally who have blown the whistle on corporate fraud and abuse and who have been the victims of discrimination, harassment, or other violations of their civil rights. With offices in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and Los Angeles, California, The Employment Law Group® law firm’s seasoned trial attorneys have earned a highly desirable record of favorable settlements and verdicts on behalf of its clients.