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IRS Paid Over $33.9 Million to Whistleblowers in 2017

Washington, DC – WEBWIRE

Washington, D.C., January 5, 2018.  Today the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) Office of the Whistleblower released its Annual Report to Congress on the IRS Whistleblower Program for the fiscal year 2017.  According to the report: 

  • In 2017 whistleblowers received over $33.9 million in awards, and over 242 award determinations were issued.
  • Since the inception of the program in 2007 whistleblower disclosures have resulted in recoveries of more than $3.6 billion, and the total amount of rewards paid is over $490 million.
  • The size of the IRS Office of the Whistleblower has been reduced, from 61 full time equivalent (“FTE”) employees to 38 FTEs.
  • There are 28,197 open whistleblower claims pending in the office.

The statistics published by the IRS Office of the Whistleblower do not include the recoveries obtained as a result of criminal tax prosecutions triggered by whistleblower disclosures.

According to Stephen M. Kohn, an attorney who represents tax whistleblowers (including Bradley Birkenfeld, who obtained a $104 million award in the UBS tax fraud case), stated: “Whistleblowers are the backbone of tax law enforcement.  They allow the American people to recover billions of dollars from tax fraudsters.”

 Kohn found the decreases in IRS Whistleblower Office staff unacceptable: “Overall, the decreases in collections and awards, together with the lack of staffing and the failure of the Secretary of the Treasury and Congress to provide adequate resources for the Whistleblower Office, have cost the taxpayers billions.  The large backlog of open cases is devastating to the program,” Kohn stated.

“The decision to exclude criminal penalties from IRS award decisions has produced a radical understatement in the achievements of the whistleblower program,” Kohn added.  The exclusion of criminal cases from the IRS whistleblower program is currently being challenged in court.

 Related Link:  

IRS Whistleblower Program Annual Report to Congress, Fiscal Year 2017


 Internal Revenue Service
 IRS Whistleblower Program
 tax whistleblowers
 IRS Qui Tam
 Whistleblower awards

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