Summary of the 2012 Report of the IRS Whistleblower Office

The 2012 IRS Whistleblower Office Report to Congress is out.  Here’s a quick summary, but read the full report:

  • In FY 2012, the IRS received 332 submissions identifying 671 taxpayers that, based on an initial examination of the submissions, appear to meet section 7623(b) criteria.  In FY 2011, the IRS received 314 submissions identifying 734 taxpayers that met the same standard. Submissions and awards for all years can be found on page 7 of the report.
  • In 2011, the IRS whistleblower program brought in $48 million. In 2012, the IRS whistleblower program brought in $592.5 million.
  • In FY 2011, the Whistleblower Office paid the first claims under the new IRS whistleblower program. Five claims have been paid under the new law to date, however "taxpayer privacy laws do not permit the publication of data on specific claims”.
  • The number of payments made under the new IRS whistleblower program are not projected to grow dramatically in FY 2013 due to the slow nature of the tax appeals process.
  • As of Dec 10, 2012 , over 1,126 whistleblowers had come forward to file over 10,000 cases against companies and individuals that allegedly cheated Uncle Sam out of at least $2 million or more each. Over 5,500 of these 10,000 cases are now in “suspension” while collections are being made, appeals are being exhausted, or other tax cheats in related cases are being corralled. .
  • At the beginning of FY 2012, the Whistleblower Office staff of 18 included ten analysts with decades of experience in a broad array of IRS compliance programs. In addition, the IRS Office of Chief Counsel appointed a senior attorney to serve as Special Counsel to the Director of the Whistleblower Office.
  • The IRS whistleblower law does not provide for whistleblower protection. “Unlike other laws that encourage whistleblowers to report information to the government, section 7623 does not prohibit retaliation against the whistleblower.”
  • Criminal fines are not part of the calculation when determining whistleblower awards.