Revised Rewards Guidelines Issued by the IRS
The IRS has the unenviable job not only of collecting taxes, but of following up and investigating businesses and individuals that try to avoid paying their fair share. The investigative effort this requires is staggering, and as a result, the IRS rewards whistleblowers who can give them a hand-hold on their research, either with inside information, documents, or evidence of wrongdoing. Much of this information is difficult or impossible for outsiders to get access to, especially once businesses know they are being investigated, so having a whistleblower can save years of investigators time.
Because of this, the IRS generally pays whistleblowers whose information led to a large recovery of tax revenue a percentage of that recovery as a reward, usually 15-30%. For recoveries from large businesses, this can be substantial, and is often enough to incentivize people who might otherwise fear for their livelihood if they reported misconduct. While the law does forbid harassment of retaliation against whistleblowers, it has been known to happen, and must be strenuously fought against by whistleblower attorneys.
The IRS has recently issued a new set of guidelines to streamline the whistleblower reward process, making it more transparent and giving a set timeline for remuneration. Often, IRS investigations can take years, often with little or no contact from investigators, leaving whistleblowers in the dark. This new system should ameliorate that, and gives whistleblowers a straightforward idea of how the process will work.
The rules also clarify the definition of what constitutes the “specific and credible information” that investigators need, as well as what requirements need to be met for whistleblowers to earn a reward. The IRS hopes that these new rules will encourage potential whistleblowers to come forward, now that they have a clearer idea of how the process will work and what they can expect.
If you have information about tax fraud, contact the Evans Law Firm at (415) 441-8669, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our San Francisco whistleblower attorneys can help you draft and file your claim, work with IRS investigators, and ensure you are rewarded fairly for your information.