There are several laws in place at both the state and federal levels that offer protection for people who report suspicious or illegal activity being conducted by their employers or within the workplace. However, when you report another individual, especially one who may have control over your present and future employment opportunities, you face a widespread range of potential reactions, not all of which are positive and not all of which can be adequately protected by the strength of “what the law says.”
Whistleblowers often fight uphill battles to keep themselves safe from employer retaliation, all while doing the right thing. Because of the legal struggle involved in any whistleblower case, it is critical for a whistleblower to have the best possible representation when the case goes to trial.
IRS whistleblower cases are often the ones that have the most stringent criteria for the whistleblower to work with. If you are reporting to the IRS on tax fraud, tax evasion or other illegal tax practices, you may be putting your career on the line. You need to be sure that your lawyer will work with you to ensure you receive the best representation, job protection and reward for your actions.
The following list explains a few key things to consider in choosing an attorney:
- Whistleblower specialty and success rates. You definitely want your lawyer to have handled such cases previously, and he or she should be familiar with the courtroom and the legal landscape of your case. That said, you want to choose a firm that has a high success rate in whistleblower cases. If you can get firsthand testimony from an online review or someone else who has used the firm’s services, that’s even better. Be wary of some firms whose online presence may over exaggerate their true value. Do not hesitate to ask for concrete examples of a firm or attorney’s success before making your decision.
- Tax fraud expertise. Do some online research once you’ve narrowed down your choices to see if your top firms have any expertise with tax fraud in particular. If the IRS and Congress have been in contact with the lawyers at a particular firm, that’s usually a good sign that they are well-respected in the field. Another good clue is if they have been questioned or quoted by newspapers and media outlets as sources.
- Tax code knowledge. See if the firm employs the help of tax experts and find out who they use. Make sure your firm has a relationship with experts who deal specifically in the areas your case will cover.
- Familiarity with the IRS. It would be quite helpful if your attorney is familiar with the IRS and its policies and procedures. You will be spending a lot of time trying to push your case in front of the IRS whistleblower office, as they receive thousands of reports of fraud each year. Your attorney should be able to help you make your case a priority.
At the Evans Law Firm, we represent anyone who is reporting tax fraud or illegal tax activity to the IRS. For more information, contact the California IRS whistleblower attorneys at our firm today at 415-441-8669 or online at www.evanslaw.com.