Yesterday, Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) introduced the IRS Whistleblower Program Improvement Act. This legislation will strengthen the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) successful Whistleblower Awards Program. The IRS Whistleblower Program has enabled the agency to collect over $6 billion from wealthy individuals and businesses caught dodging taxes.
“The tax whistleblower law has recovered billions of dollars to the US treasury. Tens of thousands of illegal offshore accounts have been shut down by whistleblower disclosures. It’s time for the Department of Treasury to properly implement the IRS whistleblower law. This bill will achieve that goal,” said whistleblower attorney Stephen M. Kohn. Kohn, who also serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Whistleblower Center, praised the bi-partisan nature of the amendments: “Senators Charles Grassley and Ron Wyden exemplify the bipartisanship needed to hold tax cheats accountable.”
“These proposed amendments to the IRS whistleblower program are good news for tax whistleblowers, great news for honest American taxpayers and bad news for tax cheats,” said Dean Zerbe, Senior Analyst at National Whistleblower Center and tax whistleblower attorney at the law firm of Zerbe, Miller, Fingeret, Frank & Jadav. Strengthening the IRS whistleblower program must be part of any serious effort to deal with the tax gap. The IRS whistleblower program has brought in billions of dollars in revenue – far more than was expected when enacted in 2006 when the whistleblower law was passed. However, with these proposed improvements will bring in billions more,” Zerbe added.
The legislation is fully supported by the National Whistleblower Center.
“NWC fully supports the introduction of the IRS Whistleblower Program Improvement Act. By adopting these important reforms to the successful IRS whistleblower awards program, Congress will provide a much improved avenue for whistleblowers who wish to come forward to report evidence of tax fraud. This is a huge step for whistleblowers and NWC thanks Senator Grassley for his continued efforts to protect whistleblowers,” National Whistleblower Center Executive Director Siri Nelson said.
The IRS Whistleblower Program Improvement Act includes seven measures to bolster the successful program, ensure fairness and protect the whistleblowers who come forward. These measures include:
- Provide for De Novo Review.
- Exempt WB Awards from Budget Sequester.
- Presumption of Anonymity in Tax Court.
- Interest on Whistleblower Awards.
- Retention of Collected Proceeds to Fund Program Costs.
- Correction Regarding Deduction for Attorney’s Fees.
- Improved Annual Report.
Full legislative text of the IRS Whistleblower Improvement Act can be found HERE. A summary of the bill can be found HERE.
Read: Grassley, Wyden Introduce Bill To Strengthen Successful IRS Whistleblower Programs