Whistleblower Protection Blog

Whistleblower Protection Blog

Advocating Whistleblower Rights for over Twenty Years

Tag Archives: IRS

Trump Treasury Nominee Answers on Tax Whistleblower Issue

Posted in Tax Whistleblowers
January 19th, 2017, today, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing to consider President-Elect Trump’s pick for the Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin. The National Whistleblower Center asked its supporters to insist that the Senators of the Finance Committee use the hearing to find out whether or not Mr. Mnuchin was committed to protecting whistleblowers who report to the… Continue Reading

Tax Court Delivers Victory For Tax Whistleblowers

Posted in News, Tax Whistleblowers
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… Continue Reading

UBS Whistleblower to Assist French Investigation of Swiss Bank

Posted in Tax Whistleblowers
UBS whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld who assisted the U.S. in its successful prosecution of Swiss bank UBS AG for aiding U.S. citizens to commit tax evasion, has been asked to assist France with a similar investigation. Mr. Birkenfeld will travel to Paris to comply with a French subpoena requiring him to testify against UBS AG. French authorities have demanded that Birkenfeld… Continue Reading

Senators advise IRS to be more receptive to whistleblowers

Posted in Tax Whistleblowers
In an editorial published yesterday in Politico Magazine, Senators Ron Wyden and Chuck Grassley criticize the IRS whistleblower program. The editorial, “Will the IRS Ever Listen?” states that the backlog on cases is too long and that the IRS needs to better manage its relationships with whistleblowers.  They point out that 799 whistleblower claims made prior to 2007 remain open.… Continue Reading

NWC Urges Treasury Department to Withdraw Proposed Rule

Posted in Tax Whistleblowers
The National Whistleblower Center issued the following Action Alert today: Action Alert: Urge Treasury Department to Withdraw Proposed Rule Urgent Action needed! The Department of Treasury is poised to approve a final rule that will have a devastating impact on the IRS Whistleblower Program. The Treasury Department, along with the IRS office of general counsel, have concocted a rule to… Continue Reading

Important Win for Tax Whistleblowers in Tax Court

Posted in Tax Whistleblowers
By Dean Zerbe, Advisor to NWC and Attorney at Zerbe, Fingeret, Frank & Jadav. Tax Court in a recent decision – “Whistleblower 10949-13W v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue” – TC Memo 2014-106 (June 4, 2014) made an important ruling favorable to tax whistleblowers (disclosure:  I am counsel for the whistleblower on this case and also benefitted mightily from the work… Continue Reading

2012’s 10 Big Moments for Chief Compliance Officers

Posted in Corporate Whistleblowers
As companies head into 2013 facing yet another year of increasing and complex compliance and ethics challenges, here's a threshold question for the Board of Directors: Does your chief compliance officer have the empowerment, independence, seat at the table, line of sight, and resources to do the job? Following is a "boardworthy" sample of big developments from 2012 that should give some boards and C-suites (and you know who you are) pause:… Continue Reading

Brad Birkenfeld receives $104 million IRS whistleblower award

Posted in Tax Whistleblowers
The National Whistleblowers Center announced this morning that UBS banking whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld received a tax whistleblower award of $104 million.  The IRS made the award for Birkenfeld’s contributions in providing the U.S. Government with insider information on UBS’ illegal offshore banking scheme. This is believed to be the largest reward ever given to an individual whistleblower in the United… Continue Reading

Tax Court calls for an answer from IRS whistleblower case

Posted in Tax Whistleblowers
The United States Tax Court issued an order Tuesday that requires the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to respond by September 24, 2012, to an amicus brief filed by the National Whistleblowers Center (NWC). We reported here on July 11, 2012, about the NWC "friend of the court" brief in Insinga v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, Docket No. 4609-12W. The main… Continue Reading

IRS plans to retool its whistleblower program

Posted in Tax Whistleblowers
On Wednesday, the IRS announced a plan for a comprehensive review of its whistleblower program, working with both “internal and external shareholders” to produce a program that can evaluate whistleblower claims and make quicker payouts to whistleblowers. As a part of the review, the IRS will set up new timelines, including a mandatory 90 day deadline to review whistleblower claims… Continue Reading

IRS resists using whistleblowers

Posted in Tax Whistleblowers
Whistleblower disclosures have helped the federal government make some of its biggest recoveries from fraudsters. In the Obama administration alone, the government recovered over $21 billion thanks to whistleblowers using the “qui tam” procedure under the False Claims Act (FCA). The government also recovered many additional billions through criminal fines and penalties. Erika Kelton, an attorney in the Washington, DC,… Continue Reading

IRS Tax Court Upholds Whistleblower Anonymity

Posted in News, Tax Whistleblowers
The IRS tax court issued a very important decision yesterday in Whistleblower 14106-10W vs. Commissioner of Internal Revenue regarding confidential and anonymous whistleblower claims through the IRS. The court’s first-ever decision on this matter upholds whistleblowers’ right to file anonymous claims—a major victory for whistleblowers and their advocates. Dean Zerbe, Special Counsel at the National Whistleblowers Center, issued the following… Continue Reading

GAO Releases Report on IRS Whistleblower Program

Posted in Tax Whistleblowers
Yesterday, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released its report on the current effectiveness of the IRS whistleblower program. Since 2007, over 1,300 whistleblowers have filed claims with the IRS Whistleblower Office alleging tax fraud (in excess of $2 million) against 9,540 "taxpayers." The IRS is still investigating 8,254 (86.5%) "taxpayers" for tax fraud. The GAO report’s recommendations focus on improving… Continue Reading

Is the IRS Systemically Averse to Whistleblowers?

Posted in Tax Whistleblowers
Since the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) instituted a new whistleblower program in 2006, only one award has been made to a whistleblower, according to Mike Hudson from iWatch News. In yesterday’s article, “Red tape, old guard slow whistleblowing on corporate tax cheats,” Hudson explains why the IRS has been so disinclined to give monetary awards to whistleblowers. The primary reason, it seems,… Continue Reading

IRS issues proposed whistleblower rule today

Posted in Tax Whistleblowers
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is publishing today a new proposed regulation for its whistleblower reward program. In today’s Federal Register, the new regulation makes clear that whistleblowers can receive a reward for providing information that prevents the IRS from issuing a refund that is not actually owed under law.   The new regulation resolves an issue raised last year by… Continue Reading

WSJ reports on hurdles for financial fraud whistleblowers

Posted in Corporate Whistleblowers, False Claims / Qui Tam, Tax Whistleblowers
The Wall Street Journal is reporting today on the hurdles that whistleblowers face when they provide tips about financial fraud to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Called "Whistleblower Bounties Pose Challenges," the article says that, "collecting the bounty could be a challenge." According… Continue Reading

Washington Post reports that IRS chokes off whistleblower rewards

Posted in Tax Whistleblowers
The Washington Post is running a story today by David Hilzenrath on page A11 called, "Change in IRS rules could block rewards for whistleblowers." The story focuses on a manual by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) called the Internal Revenue Manual (IRM). The new IRM recognizes that if a whistleblower provides information leading to a payment to the IRS, the… Continue Reading

Senator Grassley Backs UBS Whistleblower, Swiss Parliament Rejects DOJ UBS Deal

Posted in Corporate Whistleblowers, Tax Whistleblowers
In the past 24 hours there have been significant developments in the case of UBS whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld. Three years ago, the former UBS banker provided the U.S. government with detailed information on how to identify the names of 19,000 American citizens who held illegal secret bank accounts at UBS bank in Switzerland. He reported the largest tax fraud scheme in history, and for the first time there was a crack in the vault of Swiss bank secrecy...… Continue Reading

While The Whistleblower Sits in Prison, More People May Walk Away

Posted in Tax Whistleblowers
Basically, this means that 14,700 people walked away without prosecution under the IRS amnesty program, the head of entire illegal UBS program Martin Liechti was allowed to return to Switzerland without prosecution, the 4,450 tax cheats are likely to escape prosecution, and Bradley Birkenfeld (the person responsible for blowing the whistle and ending the illegal UBS program) is still the only banker sitting in prison.… Continue Reading