IRS-Whistleblower-Building-Washington-DCToday, the U.S. Department of Justice officially dismissed their appeal of case Whistleblower 21276-13W and 21277-13W v. CIR, Case Nos. 17-1119 and 1120 (D.C. Cir.), marking a big win for IRS whistleblowers. Below is a statement from the whistleblowers’ attorneys.

The law firms of Zerbe, Miller, Fingeret, Frank & Jadav, PC (ZMF); Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto (KKC) and Robert Amsel, Esq. are pleased to announce today a key victory for tax whistleblowers with the filing of a joint stipulation for dismissal of the government’s appeal in the cases of Whistleblower 21276-13W and 21277-13W v. CIR, Case Nos. 17-1119 and 1120 (D.C. Cir.). The case was scheduled for oral argument on April 9, 2018 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.  It had pitted the U.S. Department of Justice and IRS against two whistleblowers whose information has led to $54.131 million in criminal penalties and civil forfeitures awarded against a major Swiss bank.  The DOJ and IRS were arguing that the tax whistleblower law did not apply to criminal tax cases that resulted in payments of fines and civil forfeitures.

Continue Reading DOJ Drops Case, IRS Whistleblowers to Receive $12.9 Million Award from Criminal Prosecution of Swiss Bank

In 2012, Bradley Birkenfeld made history when he obtained the largest whistleblower reward ever given to an individual whistleblower in the twenty-five year history of federal qui tam or whistleblower reward laws, for reporting IRS Tax Fraud.  Continue Reading UBS Whistleblower Gives Behind the Scenes Look into Swiss Bank Secrecy

Washington, D.C. March 15, 2016. The Tax Court in Whistleblower 22716-13W v. CIR(146 TC 6) decided March 14, 2016 held that the term “additional amounts” as used in 7623(b)(5)(B) does not include FBAR civil penalties.  FBAR civil penalties are a penalty commonly imposed by the IRS on individuals with illegal offshore accounts.

Continue Reading Tax Court Decision: Congress Needs to Act to Ensure No Holiday for Big Time Tax Cheats

This was a banner year for the Internal Revenue Services’ Whistleblower Program. In its annual report to Congress, released February 10, 2016, the IRS said it paid 99 awards totaling more than $103 million.

Stephen M. Kohn, Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center, stated, “the program is staring to work.” According to Kohn, the IRS Program, at its 10-year mark, is performing at higher level then the Department of Justice’s False Claims Act program did over a comparable length of time. Continue Reading IRS Whistleblower Program Continues Improvements

Washington, D.C. November 30, 2015. A Government Accountability Office Report issued today confirmed that the IRS Whistleblower Office has made 500 awards to whistleblowers amounting to over $315 million in claims paid since 2011. A copy of the GAO Report is linked here.

According to the report, the IRS currently has 30,152 open claims, which, if investigated, could result in the recovery of hundreds of billions of dollars from tax cheats. The GAO found that “Individuals who report on the under payment of taxes . . .potentially helped the IRS collect billions of tax revenue that may otherwise go undetected.”

Stephen M. Kohn, who successfully represented Swiss Bank whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld and who serves as the Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center, stated as follows:

“The IRS is making important progress in its whistleblower program and the payment of over 500 claims demonstrates a growing commitment to the success of the program. Continue Reading IRS Awards Whistleblowers over $315 Million

Attorneys Stephen Kohn and Dean Zerbe are pleased to announce today that a joint client – who wishes to remain anonymous – received a whistleblower award under the new IRS whistleblower award program of $11.6 million dollars.

“We greatly appreciate the IRS recognizing the work of this whistleblower and for making this significant, major award. We commend the IRS for this fair and equitable determination of the whistleblower’s award amount and percentage. The whistleblower’s work translated into tens of millions of dollars recovered by the US Treasury,” said Kohn and Zerbe. Continue Reading Press Statement – Tax Whistleblower Receives $11.6 Million Dollar Award

In a significant pro-whistleblower decision yesterday, the Tax Court in a decision 144 TC 15 (Whistleblower 21276-13W v. IRS) made it clear that the IRS couldn’t deny a whistleblower an award because they filed a request for an award after the IRS had collected the fines and penalties from the targeted business.  The whistleblowers’ extensive cooperation with IRS and law enforcement agents was directly responsible for the IRS collecting a large monetary penalty from the targeted business.  Shortly after the IRS successfully concluded its case against the targeted business the whistleblowers filed a claim for an award under the IRS whistleblower program citing their extensive assistance to the IRS during the investigation.

The lead counsel representing the whistleblower in Tax Court was National Whistleblower Center (NWC) advisor Dean Zerbe of ZFFJ law firm. NWC Executive Director Stephen M. Kohn and NWC General Counsel David K. Colapinto were also counsel for the whistleblowers. This is the first evidentiary trial for tax whistleblowers that has been held by the Tax Court.

Continue Reading Tax Court Delivers Victory For Tax Whistleblowers

Bradley Birkenfeld
Bradley Birkenfeld, a former UBS banker, was awarded $104 million for bringing information to the IRS about tax evasion strategies at the Swiss bank.

Yesterday The New York Times ran a nice article on the growing support for whistleblower programs as a means to ensure corporate accountability.  Below is an excerpt and a link:

“The embrace of whistle-blowers is not limited to false claims. The I.R.S. has ramped up its program on tax cheats, and awarded one of the biggest whistle-blower payouts of $104 million award in 2012 to Bradley C. Birkenfeld after he disclosed how Swiss banks helped Americans hide assets in secret accounts. His case also illustrates the pitfalls of being a whistle-blower as he served nearly two and a half years in prison for his role in tax evasion schemes.”

Tattletales Embraced as Whistle-Blower Programs Gain Support
By Peter J. Henning, DECEMBER 1, 2014.

Also of interest is this article from 2012:

A Strategy of Tattletales at the I.R.S.
By Victor Fleischer, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012

The National Whistleblower Center’s (NWC) Senior Policy Advisor – Dean Zerbe and his law firm ZFF&J – were recently in Tax Court as the first lawyers to litigate in a hearing whether a whistleblower meets the three-part test of the IRS whistleblower award program. In brief, the three-part test is: 1) the whistleblower provided information to the government; 2) the IRS acted on that information; and, 3) the IRS action resulted in collected proceeds.

While the case remains under seal, the whistleblower was able to show that the IRS denial letter was issued in error and that the whistleblower met the three-part test – in spades. Finally having their day in Tax Court to have the facts brought forward was in of itself a victory for the whistleblower. Continue Reading Tax Whistleblowers Alert: Protecting Tax Whistleblower Rights If You Get a Denial Letter