Internal Revenue Service Whistleblower Awards
Awards Now Based on Penalties Too
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) pays awards to people who provide specific and credible information to the IRS if the information results in the collection of taxes, penalties, interest or other amounts from the noncompliant taxpayer. For years, the IRS argued that fines and penalties should not be credited toward calculating whistleblower awards. Now Congress has changed that and adopted a broader awards base so that IRS whistleblowers will be paid a percentage of whatever criminal fines, forfeiture or other penalties the IRS collects in addition to the recovery of the underpaid tax itself. This is a huge win for whistleblowers.
The California and San Francisco whistleblower/qui tam attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. represent whistleblowers in IRS whistleblower cases and know what the IRS looks for in terms of credible hard evidence of tax avoidance schemes, which often employ offshore businesses and foreign bank accounts. Our IRS whistleblower attorneys know how to present your case with the best chance at receiving an award for your original information and diligence.
If you have credible evidence of tax fraud, do not call the IRS directly as that may jeopardize your chances to receive an award. Call counsel first. If you or a loved one has credible information regarding offshore tax avoidance schemes or other tax fraud schemes in California, call the whistleblower/qui tam attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. (415)441-8669, and we can help.
Since the inception of the IRS Whistleblower program in 2007, whistleblower disclosures have resulted in recoveries of more than $3.6 billion, and the total amount of awards paid out is now over $490 million. With the new law those awards will increase substantially as many successful cases involve penalties, fines, and asset forfeitures.
The IRS provides for two types of awards for whistleblowers. If the taxes, penalties, interest and other amounts in dispute exceed $2 million, and a few other qualifications are met, the IRS will pay the whistleblower an award of 15 percent to 30 percent of the amount collected. If the case deals with an individual, his or her annual gross income must be more than $200,000. The IRS also has an award program for other whistleblowers – generally those who do not meet the dollar thresholds of $2 million in dispute or cases involving individual taxpayers with gross income of less than $200,000. The awards through this program are less but can still add up, with a maximum award of 15 percent up to $10 million.
What An IRS Whistleblower Case Looks Like
An IRS whistleblower case follows an established process. A threshold requirement for any award is that the information must lead to judicial or administrative action – an audit or investigation resulting in the collection of proceeds. An analyst in the Whistleblower Office will consider the information provided by the whistleblower. The IRS has to decide that the case is worth pursuing. The process, from submission of complete information to the Service until the proceeds are collected, may take several years. Payments of awards will not be made until after the taxes, penalties, interest, additions to tax and additional amounts that are finally determined to be owed to the Service have been collected.
While the potential awards are very significant, the IRS demands hard evidence of the fraud and will closely examine whether the whistleblower truly has original, solid documentation of the alleged fraud. A hunch or suspicion of fraud is not enough. The IRS is looking for solid information, not an “educated guess” or unsupported speculation. We at Evans Law Firm, Inc. know what the government looks for in investigating and prosecuting large tax avoidance schemes and can sift through the evidence you have to determine the best way to proceed with an application.
If you have information regarding tax fraud or abusive tax avoidance or false claims and are looking to be a whistleblower in California, contact the IRS whistleblower and tax fraud attorneys at the Evans Law Firm at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:email@example.com”>firstname.lastname@example.org</a>. Our attorneys have experience with complex qui tam or whistleblower cases, including IRS tax avoidance whistleblower cases and tax and securities fraud whistleblowers, and cases against large insurance companies. We can help guide your case through a jury trial or toward an equitable settlement. We also handle cases involving financial elder abuse, whole life insurance and universal life insurance, and indexed, variable, and fixed annuities.