IRS Signals Willingness to Revise Whistleblower Program

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IRS may be signalling its willingness to consider changes to its whistleblower program, following complaints that the program is stifling the initiative of informants around a kingpin who may have information about tax evasion. The National Whistleblowers Center releases a letter to IRS recommending changes to a key part of the IRS whistleblower statute that potentially limits the award provided to a whistleblower who has “planned and initiated” the action that led to the underpayment of tax. According to the letter, IRS Deputy Commissioner Steven Miller invited whistleblower attorneys to comment on areas of review and regulation for IRS and the Treasury Department, in one of the first signs that the agency may be budging on long-held views that have discouraged awards to whistleblowers who may have had some hand—but were not the chief architects—of a tax evasion scheme.