The current IRS Whistleblower Program has resulted in the collection of $6 billion in dodged taxes. Now, the federal government is seeking to further incentivize whistleblowers and improve the current program by introducing the IRS Whistleblower Program Improvement Act of 2021.
The bipartisan act bolsters efforts to protect whistleblowers and make sure they are treated fairly. The IRS recognizes that whistleblowers are critical in the discovery of tax evasion and are necessary in the protection of taxpayer dollars. Strengthening the current program will help ensure the willingness of whistleblowers to come forward and report tax cheats.
Currently, one of the major issues with the IRS Whistleblower Program is the time it takes to pay out awards to whistleblowers. It takes an average of over 10 years for the IRS to process an award claim. This new Act provides measure that encourage the IRS to speed up the payout process or provide interest to whistleblowers when payouts take over a year. This is just one of 7 new measures that will aid in making sure whistleblowers are treated fairly and protected:
- De novo review for whistleblower award appeals to Tax Court
- Makes whistleblower awards exempt from sequestration
- Whistleblowers will receive the presumption of anonymity in Tax Court
- IRS will pay interest on whistleblower awards that take longer than one year to pay out
- IRS will retain 3% of proceeds collected to be used toward operating the whistleblower program
- Whistleblower attorney fees not considered income under new proposal
- Improvements to annual report by providing more detailed information to Congress about tax schemes
A summary of the new act explains: “Giving tax whistleblowers confidence that their rights will be protected by a fair, impartial judicial review; that they will receive the full award to which they are entitled in a timely manner; and, not subject to double taxation on attorney’s fees will help ensure that whistleblowers continue to come forward with key and vital information about tax law violations.”
Qui tam attorneys, who represent whistleblowers in these types of cases, are hoping the Act passes quickly. “The valuable information provided by whistleblowers is what aids in the discovery of tax fraud, the prosecution of tax evaders, and the recovery of taxpayer money,” said Baron & Budd Shareholder Andrew Miller. “The federal government understands the value whistleblowers provide in uncovering tax fraud and this Act helps provide more security for the brave individuals that come forward and report fraud.”
It is important that whistleblowers seek the guidance of an experienced whistleblower attorney. Whistleblower attorneys will help file your case, make sure your rights are protected, and maximize your share of any recovery.
With more than 30 years of experience, the attorneys on Baron & Budd’s whistleblower representation team have represented dozens of clients in government fraud cases returning over $5.4 billion to federal and state agencies, with whistleblower recovery shares as high as 49%. They are ready to help if you have evidence of tax fraud.
Please call (866) 401-5971 or complete our contact form if you would like more information. For more information, see What You Need to Know About Becoming a Whistleblower. Please understand that contacting us does not mean that you have established an attorney-client relationship with Baron & Budd, P.C.