The Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 created the IRS Whistleblower Program. This program required the IRS to pay whistleblowers when they obtain an award if the amount in controversy was more than $2 million. It was the first new Whistleblower Reward Law since the False Claims Act had been brought back to life under the 1986 Amendment to the False Claims Act. Without this program, there would likely never have been the SEC Whistleblower Program. The success of the False Claims Act and real results from it led to the idea that maybe whistleblowers could be rewarded within the context of tax laws.
If you have information about tax fraud and wish to participate in the IRS whistleblower program, reach out to a qualified DC whistleblower attorney. A lawyer with experience handling claims like yours knows how to put together a successful case and present it to the IRS.
Qualifications for the IRS Whistleblower Reward Program
In order to qualify for the IRS Whistleblower Reward Program, the government needs information that it is not already aware of which a whistleblower needs to submit to the IRS. Original information is the term used under both the IRS whistleblower program and the SEC whistleblower program. For example, if someone files an IRS whistleblower action after another and is making essentially the same allegations, that person will likely not be entitled to an award. There is the potential of a reduced award for information which is not original information. However, for the types of claims that entitle the whistleblower to the 15%-30% award envisioned by this program, the IRS wants original information.
The IRS has broad discretion as to which claims it will pursue. That is very important from a whistleblower’s perspective. The IRS does not have to pursue the case just because someone happens to think it is a good case. That can be unfortunate because the IRS program does not follow the procedure of the False Claims Act in allowing an individual the right to file a case in Court.
IRS Form 211
IRS Form 211 is the form a person must file in order to become eligible for an award under the IRS whistleblower program. The form can be supplemented with supporting material and additional information, which the whistleblower’s DC attorney can help prepare. The case is going to require some level of substantiation and/or a separate document, and there may ll be quite a few notations to ‘see attached’ with respect to most of the questions on the form when more explanation is required.
The attorney will also have to file a form indicating that they are acting as the whistleblower’s attorney. The form itself has to be signed by the whistleblower themselves in ink and not electronically. IRS Form 211 is signed under the penalty of perjury, which means the filer claims to the best of their knowledge that everything that they are submitting is true.
A written narrative is for the whistleblower to address certain questions, and they should be as forthcoming as they can possibly be to support the claim. Hopefully, the information being provided to the IRS is not only the basis to find the defendant liable, but also a base on which the IRS can obtain more information to substantiate the charges. Whistleblowers are constrained by what they actually know.
What Relationships Need to be Reported?
Form 211 requires a statement of whether the whistleblower is still working for the defendant or if they ever did work for the defendant. If they have filed some other legal proceedings against the taxpayer, they have to say that. The Form also asks for details about that legal proceeding, which can bring a procedural issue with respect to a sealed filing against the same defendant if they have both a False Claims Act case and a tax fraud case. How to handle that question appropriately and truthfully is something that should be discussed with counsel.
Reach Out to a Dedicated Attorney to Discuss the IRS Whistleblower Program
If you believe you have information the IRS would be interested in, you should first speak with an experienced whistleblower lawyer in Washington, DC. An attorney could advise you about your legal options and help you put together a case under the IRS Whistleblower Program. Call today to schedule a free consultation.