As we posted last week, the IRS whistle blower program hasn’t been as productive as it was intended to be upon the opening of the Whistleblower Office in 2007.
A lack of resources, bureaucracy, and the pressure the IRS receives to uphold laws concerning taxpayer anonymity are just a few of the reasons the program hasn’t taken off as successfully as it was intended to.
Steven Miller, Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement at the IRS, recently sent out this memo to top IRS Managers. Here are some of the highlights.
Regarding Upholding Taxpayer Privacy Laws:
“A contract for services under section 61 03(n) may be used when disclosure of taxpayer information is necessary to obtain a whistleblower’s insights and expertise into complex technical or factual issues.”
“•Whistleblower Office-claims received should be initially evaluated by the Whistleblower Office within 90 days.
•Operating Divisions and Criminal Investigation-review by subject matter experts should be completed within 90 days of receipt.
•Whistleblower Office-whistleblowers should be notified of an award decision within 90 days of when collected proceeds can be finally determined.
I understand that there will be times when these timelines cannot be met, and exceptions will be necessary to ensure that the decision on whether to proceed to an audit or investigation considers all relevant information. Reporting in the BPRs will outline compliance with these timelines and overall timeliness of the process. BPR reports should include data on subject matter expert reviews that are suspended pending receipt of a risk analysis opinion. The Office of Chief Counsel has established controls and reporting requirements for its risk analysis opinions. My office will track this area as well. The Chief Counsel concurs in making this area a priority.”
Whether or not this memo indicates that a change in the program will be followed through with, it’s a step in the right direction. It has also been suggested that contact between the IRS and the whistleblower will be handled by the whistleblowers law firm or attorney. This will also be a tremendous help. Take this recent ad from the Ferraro Law Firm:
“…businesses need to defend the very types of underpayments you have discovered. With that in mind, ask yourself if it might not be time you had a tax whistleblower lawyer working for you—someone with the same type of experience who can fight effectively to protect your interests?”
These types of appeals may spur an influx of freelancing whistleblowers that come forth with information in order to get the percentage of what the IRS will end up collecting-if the IRS actually follows through with their recent suggestions. Whether or not that will happen is yet to be seen.
If you are seeking advice regarding IRS tax problems, contact JG Tax Group. Our staff consists of some of the most knowledgable and reputable individuals in the country and we will evaluate your situation to help you elimate your IRS tax problems.