Form 211 is somewhat unusual under the whistleblower law. The IRS requires the whistleblower to file Form 211 and submit it. It goes to their offices in Utah and what is unusual about it is it has to be signed under penalty of perjury by the whistleblower. Fortunately, counsel could help prepare the form and represent the individual before the IRS.
Form 211 can have implications. It is a difference more of form than substance but it can have implications. If a person files a complaint in court under the False Claims Act, the whistleblower does not sign the complaint. Instead, lawyers sign on behalf of the whistleblower. Everyone is still filing the case under the good faith belief in the allegations. It is not as if any other agency is somehow telling everyone it is okay to lie to the government. However, the IRS form does have the strictest standard for the whistleblower to report and the whistleblower must themselves sign the form under the pains and penalties of perjury. Filing Form 211 is what triggers the investigation by the IRS and the potential for a claim for an award to the whistleblower. For more information, reach out to an experienced lawyer.
Including the Description of the Amount Due
The general issue is to explain to the IRS that in the case being presented, assuming it is true, that the amount at issue does exceed the thresholds for an award. To the greatest extent possible, being over the threshold amounts, if the IRS does collect anything, means the whistleblower is entitled to an award. Therefore, the more that a whistleblower can demonstrate that, in fact, the threshold has been met the better in terms of the potential to make the case and get an award.
Advice to a Whistleblower Struggling to Rember Specific Details
The first rule when filing Form 211 is to not guess, do not speculate, one must be careful when making allegations and accusing people of fraud. These are serious allegations. It is critical that a whistleblower is conservative in this sense and only makes allegations of which they are extremely confident as to their veracity.
What Relationships Will Not be Reported?
If the person filing Form 211 is a former employee, they have to say so on the form. If they are a relative, attorney, or a CPA for the people that are being reported, the person must state that. They have to explain how it is that they obtained the information and what their relationship is to the employer. They could be an employee of the person committing tax fraud.
This could be irrelevant, as there could have a hundred different ways that the whistleblower knew about the case, but one way or the other, they are going to have to explain how that happened and how they learned about it.
If they have some kind of a lawsuit against the entity themselves in addition to filing the IRS claim, they have to disclose that to them. Lawyers run into this every once in a while in filing False Claims Act cases against people who also have violated IRS law. There is a way attorneys pursue doing that which they believe complies with both the IRS law or SEC claims in matters that also violate tax law. How to handle such disclosures to comport with the IRS requirements and requirements of other programs is another issue to handle with care, when filing a Form 211.