National Whistleblower Center Urges Congressional Committees to Support IRS Whistleblower Program Reforms

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National Whistleblower Center Urges Congressional Committees to Support IRS Whistleblower Program Reforms

WASHINGTON, D.C. | July 9, 2020 — Yesterday, the National Whistleblower Center (NWC) wrote to the Senate Finance Committee and House Committee on Ways and Means requesting that committee members support eight whistleblower protection reform measures to further strengthen and improve the IRS Tax Whistleblower Program.

John Kostyack, NWC Executive Director, said: “Due to the unprecedented amount of public funds provided through tax expenditures to address the COVID-19 crisis, Congress needs to prioritize stopping tax fraud. The best way to do this is to act now to strengthen the IRS Whistleblower Program. Our recommended reforms are essential to encourage more whistleblowers to come forward.”

Dean Zerbe, NWC Senior Tax Policy Analyst and a Partner at Zerbe, Miller, Fingeret, Frank & Jadav law firm, said: “The IRS Tax Whistleblower Program has been a tremendous success – bringing in billions of dollars to the Treasury and focusing the IRS on going after big-time tax cheats. However, there is clearly a need for an updating of the law to help ensure that tax whistleblowers are getting a fair shake. To help ensure the integrity of our nation’s tax system, Congress needs to make sure that the welcome mat is out for tax whistleblowers.”

The reforms to the IRS Whistleblower Program put forward by NWC include:

  1. Guaranteeing de novo review of whistleblower awards in Tax Court;
  2. Ensuring prompt payment of awards;
  3. Ending sequestration of awards;
  4. Clarifying reading of “proceeds based on”;
  5. Clarifying Tax Court discovery for whistleblowers and improving protection of taxpayer information;
  6. Presuming anonymity in Tax Court;
  7. Using whistleblower proceeds to fund Whistleblower Office and reimburse expenses; and
  8. Including top tax violations in annual whistleblower report.

Implementation of these reforms can create an environment that empowers tax whistleblowers to come forward with evidence of tax fraud, waste, and misconduct. Providing safe reporting avenues for whistleblowers is key to protecting public funds.

For more information, please contact Nick Younger at nick.younger@whistleblowers.org.

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