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Mar 24, 2022 by |

San Francisco IRS Whistleblower Attorneys: Are IRS Whistleblowers Protected Against Employer Retaliation?

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Taxpayer First Act

What Conduct Is Protected

What Remedies Are Available To Whistleblowers

Individuals with credible information of tax fraud, such as offshore tax avoidance, begin a whistleblower case by submitting an application to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  The whistleblower’s identity is kept confidential by the IRS while the Service investigates the alleged fraud.   If the IRS recovers unpaid taxes, the whistleblower is rewarded a percentage of the recovery.  26 U.S.C. § 7623(b).  Evans Law Firm, Inc. represents individuals with credible information of offshore tax avoidance schemes or other tax fraud and can help you submit information of the fraud and all related violations of the law to the government and present your evidence with a goal toward a reward if the IRS recovers.  If you have credible information of tax fraud in San Francisco or elsewhere in California, call us today at (415)441-8669. Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).

Are IRS Whistleblowers Protected From Employer Retaliation?

An important provision of the Taxpayer First Act (TFA), codified at 26 U.S.C. § 7623(d), protects tax whistleblowers against retaliation.  The purpose of the protection is to encourage whistleblowers with high-value inside information about tax noncompliance to come forward.  Section 1405(b) of the TFA prohibits any “employer, officer, employee, contractor, subcontractor, or agent” of an employer from retaliating against a whistleblower.  

What whistleblowing is protected under the Taxpayer First Act?

The TFA protects a broad range of disclosures about potential violations of IRS rules or tax fraud. It protects not only disclosures to the IRS, but also internal disclosures, including an employee’s disclosure to a supervisor or “any other person working for the employer who has the authority to investigate, discover, or terminate misconduct.”  Protected conduct includes (A) providing information or otherwise assisting in an investigation regarding underpayment of tax by the IRS or other government agencies or internally by reporting the employee’s reasonable belief of tax law violations to his or her superiors or (B) testifying or otherwise assisting in any administrative or judicial action taken by the IRS relating to any violation of the internal revenue laws or any provision of Federal law relating to tax fraud.  26 U.S.C. § 7623(d)(1).

What remedies can a whistleblower recover for wrongful retaliation?

A whistleblower prevails in his or her claim of wrongful retaliation by proving that their protected whistleblowing was a contributing factor in the unfavorable personnel action taken by their employer. 26 U.S.C. § 7623(d)92)(b)(iii). Prevailing whistleblowers are entitled to make-whole relief, which includes:

  • reinstatement;
  • double back pay with interest;
  • uncapped “special damages,” which courts have construed as encompassing damages for emotional distress and reputational harm; and
  • attorney fees, litigation costs, and expert witness fees.

26 U.S.C. § 7623(d)(3).  These remedies are substantially similar to the relief authorized in the anti-retaliation provision of the False Claims Act. 

Contact Us

Ingrid M. Evans represents individuals in San Francisco and throughout California with credible, original information of any kind of tax fraud, including offshore tax avoidance measures, and use of foreign corporations and accounts to avoid taxation or the like.  Ingrid can be reached at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:info@evanslaw.com”>info@evanslaw.com</a>.  Our toll-free number is 1-888-50EVANS (888-503-8267).  Ingrid can also represent individuals who have been retaliated against for blowing the whistle on tax fraud.

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