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What is the IRS Whistleblower Program?


The IRS Whistleblower Program provides a significant for individuals to report large-scale tax underpayments. The whistleblower may able to receive up to 30% of the amount recovered by the IRS if certain conditions are met.

IRS Whistleblower Awards

The IRS may give an award to a whistleblower if the following conditions are met:

  • The whistleblower gives the IRS information about a tax underpayment
  • The tax underpayment involves at least $2 million in IRS tax debt
  • If the taxpayer is an individual, gross income must exceed $200,000 for one or more tax years in question
  • The IRS must collect some or all of the tax underpayments

In these cases, the whistleblower can receive 15% of the collected amount. The IRS has the discretion to award up to 30% of the collected amount if the information is particularly useful. There is no dollar limit on the award.

Whistleblower cases don’t need to involve tax fraud or tax evasion. Any significant underpayment of tax can qualify for this program.

For whistleblower cases involving less than $2 million, a discretionary award of up to 15% of the collected amount may be awarded, but the IRS isn’t required to give an award.

How to Use the Whistleblower Program

You should understand the consequences of your actions before using the IRS Whistleblower Program. You are giving the IRS information under the penalty of perjury, so make sure you are honest and provide supporting evidence if you have any.

If you were involved in the misconduct, you may be able to avoid criminal prosecution in some cases. You should consult a tax attorney before you contact the IRS to discuss these issues.

Your identity will generally be protected in the IRS Whistleblower Program. However, the taxpayer may learn your identity if a criminal prosecution moves forward against the taxpayer and you are an essential witness in the case.

If you disagree with the amount you receive as a whistleblower award, you can appeal your case to the U.S. Tax Court. The IRS may also deny your award if they had the same information from another source or if the taxpayer is not found liable for a tax underpayment.

Get legal advice from a tax attorney before you decide to participate in the IRS Whistleblower Program.

The Gartzman Law Firm handles IRS tax debt and other tax resolution cases. Use our contact form to request a consultation with an Atlanta tax resolution attorney.