Did you know the IRS Whistleblower Office pays money to people who “blow the whistle” on others who don’t pay taxes they owe? If the IRS is able to use the information given to them by said whistleblower, it has the option to award up to 30 percent of the additional taxes, penalties and other amounts collected to the whistleblower. This is in effect for cases involving over $2 million in taxes, penalties and interest. However, if the cases involve individual taxpayers, they must have a taxable income of over $200,000 in any year at issue with the whistleblower claim.
According to Internal Revenue Code (IRC) 7623(b), “there is no limit on the dollar amount of the award.”
What does the IRS consider fraud?
- Overstating the amount of deductions
- Misusing trusts
- Claiming false deductions
- Intentionally underreporting income
- Intentionally omitting income
- Failing to report stock exchange earnings
- Hiding assets
- Hiding income
- Maintaining 2 sets of books
- Abusing charitable donations
- Making wrong entries in records
How will the IRS protect me if I am a whistleblower?
During the initial investigation process, the IRS preserves and protects the privacy of the whistleblower’s identity. For further investigations, a whistleblowers testimony or acknowledgement is required and the whistleblowers identity could be exposed in front of a judge.
OSHA or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, was established under the Occupational Safety and Health Act and signed into law by President Richard Nixon in 1970. Among other things, OSHA is responsible for enforcing the whistleblower provisions in over twenty different statutes.
Whistleblower protections have been greatly strengthened under President Obama’s administration. A major protection provided by OSHA to whistleblowers comes in the form of anti-retaliation laws.
What are IRS Whistleblower Protection Laws?
Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 215(a)(3)
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) includes an anti-retaliation provision making it unlawful “to discharge or in any other manner discriminate against any employee because such employee has filed any complaint or instituted or caused to be instituted any proceeding under or related to [the FLSA].”
It is important to consult with a whistleblower attorney to make sure your rights are protected.
The False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. § 3730(h)
The False Claims Act (FCA) not only authorizes private individuals who have knowledge of fraud committed against the government to sue the person committing the fraud, but it also protects said person against adverse employment actions.
When you are involved in an IRS whistleblower case, it is very important to seek the help of an experienced whistleblower attorney and not try to navigate it alone.