The IRS has had the power to make awards to whistleblowers for exactly 150 years as of 2017 (the initial law allowing for awards, which is still on the books, was enacted in 1867), and the agency is showing no signs of slowing down the process of making such awards. In fact, the IRS appears to be on a monumental streak of handing out whistleblower awards. According to the 2016 report to Congress by the IRS Whistleblower Program, the IRS actually made 418 whistleblower awards in 2016, a 322% increase over the 99 awards handed out in 2015.
Key Takeaways from the 2016 IRS Whistleblower Report
The total amount paid out by the IRS in the 418 awards paid in 2016 was $61,390,910. This was actually a decrease from the previous total amount paid of over $103 million in 2015, despite the fact that the IRS paid out many more awards in 2016.
Of the 418 awards made in 2016, only 18 were made in situations involving the collection of $2,000,000, which is the threshold at which the IRS is statutorily required to make an award. What this means is that the IRS made 400 awards to whistleblowers in situations in which it was not required to do so, but chose to do so in its discretion, which should be a positive sign for whistleblowers in situations even where the disputed amounts are not extraordinarily large.
In total, the $61 million paid out to whistleblowers represented 16.6% of the total amounts collected, providing would-be whistleblowers with guidance on the type of award they can expect for bringing information of tax fraud to the IRS. Notably, the IRS also increased its rate of closure of whistleblower cases by 99% in 2016, suggesting the IRS Whistleblower Office is increasing its efficiency in paying out awards for credible information.
How to Obtain Your Own IRS Whistleblower Award
At Kreindler and Associates, we work with whistleblowers to help them navigate the process of reporting information to the federal government while protecting their interests and identity in order to win the maximum award available. Even if you are not sure about the sufficiency of your information relating to tax fraud, we will work with you to determine whether you are eligible for an award, and, if so, be by your side every step of the way to work towards that award. To learn more about how Kreindler & Associates can help in your IRS whistleblower matter, contact us today.