Washington, D.C. October 7, 2009. Today the Treasury Inspector General For Tax Administration (TIGTA) released a report finding that “deficiencies exist” in the IRS program designed to promote whistleblower disclosures of tax fraud. The TIGTA report found that some of the major deficiencies were “inadequate procedures and processes” for administering whistleblower claims, the failure to “timely process” whistleblower claims, and a loophole in the law which can result in employees being retaliated against for filing whistleblower claims to the IRS.
Dean A. Zerbe, Special Counsel for the National Whistleblowers Center and former tax counsel to the Senate Finance Committee where he was the key staffer for writing the IRS tax whistleblower law, released the following statement on TIGTA report: “Thanks to the new IRS tax whistleblower law the IRS received in one year alone $65 billion in claims according to the new TIGTA report. Clearly the new law is working far beyond anyone’s wildest imagination in providing the IRS information about potential tax fraud. The question now is whether the IRS is going to take advantage of the new law, work with whistleblowers, and bring in these revenues. The IRS whistleblower office has certainly done a good job of getting this new program up and running and TIGTA has highlighted important areas of improvement, especially regarding timing and processing of claims.”
Mr. Zerbe added “However, the whistleblower office is only one part of the IRS. Now is the time for leadership from senior IRS officials to end the naysaying bureaucrats who keep trying to find new ways to hamstring the whistleblower reward program. The fact remains that billions of dollars have been brought forward by whistleblowers but not a dime of reward has been paid out and not a single cooperative contract has been entered into with a whistleblower. This has to change. Senior IRS and Treasury officials have a chance to lead and make the whistleblower program a success, bring in the $65 billion and encourage other whistleblowers to come forward as well. Congress can also help by taking the recommendation to pass legislation to protect whistleblowers who come forward under the IRS whistleblower program from retaliation.”