The IRS Whistleblower Office pays money to people who blow the whistle on persons who fail to pay the tax that they owe.

IRS Whistleblower – IRS Informant Award – Receive Money from the IRS

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Whistle blower- Informant Award

The IRS Whistleblower Office pays money to people who blow the whistle on persons who fail to pay the tax that they owe. If the IRS uses information provided by the whistleblower, it can award the whistleblower up to 30 percent of the additional tax, penalty and other amounts it collects.

Who can get an award?

The IRS may pay awards to people who provide specific and credible information to the IRS if the information results in the collection of taxes, penalties, interest or other amounts from the noncompliant taxpayer.

The IRS is looking for solid information, not an “educated guess” or unsupported speculation. We are also looking for a significant Federal tax issue – this is not a program for resolving personal problems or disputes about a business relationship.

What are the rules for getting an award?

The law provides for two types of awards.

  1. If the taxes, penalties, interest and other amounts in dispute exceed $2 million, and a few other qualifications are met, the IRS will pay 15 percent to 30 percent of the amount collected. If the case deals with an individual, his or her annual gross income must be more than $200,000. If the whistleblower disagrees with the outcome of the claim, he or she can appeal to the Tax Court. These rules are found at Internal Revenue Code IRC Section 7623(b) – Whistleblower Rules.
  2. The IRS also has an award program for other whistleblowers – generally those who do not meet the dollar thresholds of $2 million in dispute or cases involving individual taxpayers with gross income of less that $200,000. The awards through this program are less, with a maximum award of 15 percent up to $10 million. In addition, the awards are discretionary and the informant cannot dispute the outcome of the claim in Tax Court. The rules for these cases are found at Internal Revenue Code IRC Section 7623(a) – Informant Claims Program, and some of the rules are different from those that apply to cases involving more than $2 million.

If you decide to submit information and seek an award for doing so, use IRS Form 211. The same form is used for both award programs.

More Information

What Happens to a Claim for an Informant Award (Whistleblower)

Process for Evaluating Whistleblower’s Claim

A threshold requirement for any award under 7623 is that the information must lead to judicial or administrative action – an audit or investigation resulting in the collection of proceeds.

An analyst in the Whistleblower Office will consider the information provided by the whistleblower. The IRS has to decide that the case is worth pursuing.

In the case of a large corporate taxpayer whose returns are audited each year, an administrative action can mean the creation of a new issue under the Audit Plan or a change in the way information about an issue is collected or analyzed, which would not otherwise have occurred without the information provided by the whistleblower.

In other cases, an administrative action can mean placing a taxpayer under audit who was not already under audit.

Duration of Process

The process, from submission of complete information to the Service until the proceeds are collected, may take several years.

Payments of awards will not be made until after the taxes, penalties, interest, additions to tax and additional amounts that are finally determined to be owed to the Service have been collected.

Examples of when a final determination of tax liability can be made include, but are not limited to
at the administrative level when the Service and the taxpayer enter into a closing agreement wherein the taxpayer conclusively waives the right to appeal or otherwise challenge a deficiency or additional tax liability determined by the Service;

if a taxpayer petitions United States Tax Court; when a decision becomes final within the meaning of section 7481; and

After the expiration of the statutory period for a taxpayer to file a claim for refund and to file a refund suit based on the claim against the Untied States, or

if a refund suit is filed, when the judgment in that suit becomes final.

A finding of fraud in a tax case carries some significant additional implications for penalties, fines and jail time. In the context of whistleblower claims, it also has statute of limitations implications that can make a big difference for the whistleblower.

Percentage Applied to Awards Under Section 7623(a)

The discretionary maximum percentage of award for an (a) case is 15 percent, up to $10 million.

If the whistleblower planned and initiated the actions that led to the underpayment of tax, or the violation of the internal revenue laws, the award may be reduced.

Percentage Applied to Awards Under Section 7623(b)

The Whistleblower Office will make the final determination whether an award will be paid and the amount of the award.

Award will be paid in proportion to the value of the information furnished voluntarily with respect to proceeds collected, including penalties, interest, additions to tax and additional amounts.

The amount of the award will be at least 15 percent but not more than 30 percent of collected proceeds in cases in which the Service determines that the information submitted substantially contributed to the Service’s detection and recovery of tax.

If an action is based principally on allegations resulting from judicial or administrative proceeding, government reports, hearing, audit, or investigation, or the news media, an award of lesser amount, subject to the discretion of the Whistleblower Office, may be provided. The award will not be more than 10 percent of collected proceeds as described above. This reduction in award percentage does not apply if the whistleblower was the initial source of the information.

If the whistleblower planned and initiated the actions that led to the underpayment of tax, or the violation of the internal revenue laws, the Director, Whistleblower Office may reduce the award.

If the whistleblower is convicted based on his/her role in planning and initiating the action, then the Whistleblower Office is required to deny the award.

Tax Treatment of Awards

Prior to issuing an award check, the IRS will verify the informant’s mailing address.

All awards will be subject to current federal tax reporting and withholding requirements.

Whistleblower will receive a Form 1099 or other form as may be prescribed by law, regulation, or publication.

Appeal Rights

The Whistleblower Office will communicate the final claim determination, in writing to the claimant. Final determinations regarding awards under 7623(b) may, within 30 days of such determination, be appealed to the United States Tax Court.

Decisions under section 7623(a) may not be appealed to the Tax Court.

How Do You File a Whistleblower Award Claim Under Section 7623 (a) or (b)

Submission of Information for Award under 7623 (a) or (b)

All whistleblower claims must be submitted under penalty of perjury.

Individuals must submit information on Form 211, application for Award for Original Information.

Mail Form 211 to:

Internal Revenue Service
Whistleblower Office
SE:WO
1111 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20224

Examples of claims that will not be processed under 7623(b) include:

  • The informant is an employee of the Department of Treasury, or is acting within the scope of his or her duties as an employee of any Federal, State, or local Government.
  • The individual is required by federal law or regulation to disclose the information, or the individual is precluded by federal law or regulation from making the disclosure.
  • The individual obtained or was furnished the information while acting in his or her official capacity as a member of a State body or commission having access to such materials as Federal returns, copies or abstracts.
  • The individual had access to taxpayer information arising out of contract with the federal government that forms the basis of the claim.
  • The claim is found to have no merit or the claim lacked sufficient specific and credible information.
  • The claim was submitted anonymously or under an alias.
  • The claim was filed by a person other than an individual (e.g., corporation or partnership)
  • The alleged noncompliant taxpayer is an individual whose gross income is below $200,000.

Examples of claims that will not be processed under 7623(a)

  • The individual is an employee of the Department of Treasury, or is acting within the scope of his or her duties as an employee of any Federal, State, or local Government.
  • The individual is required by federal law or regulation to disclose the information, or the individual is precluded by federal law or regulation from making the disclosure.
  • The individual obtained or was furnished the information while acting in his or her official capacity as a member of a State body or commission having access to such materials as Federal returns, copies or abstracts.
  • The individual had access to taxpayer information arising out of contract with the federal government that forms the basis of the claim.
  • The claim is found to have no merit or the claim lacked sufficient specific and credible information.
  • The claim was submitted anonymously or under an alias.
  • The claim was filed by a person other than an individual (e.g., corporation or partnership)

Full Disclosure

  • If the whistleblower withholds available information, the whistleblower bears the risk that withheld information may not be considered by the Whistleblower Office in making any award determination.
  • If the documents or supporting evidence are known to the whistleblower but not in his/her possession, the whistleblower should describe these documents and identify their location to the best of his or her ability.
  • Except in the most unusual cases involving boxes of data, the whistleblower should include the evidence with the initial submission. Contact the Whistleblower Office for guidance if there is a question on what to submit.
  • Under no circumstance do we expect or condone illegal actions taken to secure documents or supporting evidence.
  • No specific format is required; an index to exhibits, particularly when they are voluminous, is always helpful.

Informant Award (Whistleblower)

Confidentiality and Disclosure for Whistleblowers
The rules governing confidentiality of informant information

IRC Section 7623(b) – Whistleblower Rules

Internal Revenue Code (IRC) 7623(b)

The law applies to claims filed after enactment date December 20, 2006.
The award percentage ranges are statutory, with a general range between 15% to 30%, with some exceptions. There is no limit on the dollar amount of the award.

A reduced award amount of up to 10% in cases based principally on disclosure of specific allegations resulting from:

  • Judicial or administrative hearings,
  • From a governmental report, hearing, audit or investigation,
  • Or from the news media.

An appropriate reduction if the whistleblower “planned and initiated” the non-compliance.

The law applies to cases in which the amount in dispute exceeds $2 million. If the taxpayer is an individual, the individual’s gross income must exceed $200,000 for any taxable year at issue in a claim.

Requires the Whistleblower Office to analyze these $2 million cases, and authorizes the IRS to request assistance from the whistleblower and their counsel.

Individuals are eligible for awards based on additions to tax, penalties, interest, and other amounts collected as a result of any administrative or judicial action resulting from the information provided.

Awards are subject to appeal to the U.S. Tax Court.

If the thresholds in 7623(b) are not met, section 7623(a) authorizes, but does not require, the Service to pay for information relating to violations of the internal revenue law that result in recovery of tax.

The requirements of the new rules enacted in IRC Section 7623(b), the Whistleblower Program

Confidentiality of Whistleblower

The Service will protect the identity of the whistleblower to the fullest extent permitted by the law.

Under some circumstance, such as when the whistleblower is an essential witness in a judicial proceeding, it may not be possible to pursue the investigation or examination without revealing the whistleblower’s identify.

The Service will inform the whistleblower before deciding whether to proceed in such cases.

Disclosure of taxpayer information

Once a claim is submitted, the informant may be told only the status and disposition of the claim – not the action taken in the taxpayer case.

We can say whether the claim is still open or has been closed.

If closed we can say that a claim is payable (and the amount) or that the claim is denied.

A claim can be denied if:

  • the IRS already had the information from another source,
  • an audit or investigation is conducted but leads to no finding of taxpayer liability,
  • A finding or liability is made but the taxpayer is successful in an administrative or judicial appeal,
  • Or a finding of liability is made and sustained but there is no collection because the taxpayer has no known assets that we can collect against.
  • All of that information about the taxpayer is covered by privacy laws which impose strict limits on what we can disclose.

IRC Section 7623(a) – Informant Claims Program

Internal Revenue Code IRC 7623(a)

  • Submissions that do not qualify under 7623(b) will be processed under section 7623(a).
  • These cases will continue to be considered through regulations appearing at 26 CFR 301.7623-1.
  • The award is at the discretion of the Service, there is no requirement that an award be issued.
  • The discretionary award is based on additions to tax, penalties, and other amounts collected as a result of administrative or judicial action resulting from the information provided.
  • No minimum statutory award percentage
  • No appeal provisions

IRC Section 7623(b)

The requirement of the rules governing claims that do not meet the requirements of the provisions in the whistleblower program under IRC Section 7623(b). These claims are part of the Informant Claims Program.

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