Monday, August 25, 2014
Internal Revenue Service is committed to whistleblower program
Internal Revenue Service is committed to whistleblower program IRS Deputy Commissioner John Dalrymple issued a memo providing procedures and goals for the IRS whistleblower program while IRS Commissioner John Koskinen issued a statement that he is also committed to increasing the reach of the program. Commissioner Koskinen's statement stated that over the last three fiscal years, more than $186 million in awards have been paid, on collection of more than $1 billion based on whistleblower information. Background. I.R.C. §7623(a), gives the IRS discretion to pay awards to whistleblowers between 15% to 30% of the "collected proceeds" resulting from an action based on information provided by the whistleblower. There is also the authority to pay up to 10% where the information provided by the whistleblower is “less substantial.” On Aug. 7, 2014, the Treasury issued final regulations on the whistleblower program. The Dalrymple memo makes three points: debriefing whistleblowers, protecting the identity of whistleblowers, and timeliness. There will typically be a debriefing interview with the whistleblower unless it is deemed unnecessary. The whistleblower’s identity and even the existence of a whistleblower from the taxpayer. Even the examiners will not know the identity or existence of the whistleblower. The Internal Revenue Service is also promising more timeliness: claims received should be initially evaluated by the Whistleblower Office within 90 days; review should be completed within 90 days of receipt, and whistleblowers should be notified of an award decision within 90 days.