How does the Penny Pledge work?
A law firm, lawyer, or whistleblower pledges to donate to the TAF Education Fund a penny for every dollar collected as a result of an FCA whistleblower case, or else they pledge a specific, significant and sustained financial contribution to help strengthen and protect whistleblower programs into the future.
Are the contributions deductible?
Yes. The TAF Education Fund is a charitable organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. All contributions are tax deductible.
On what base is the Penny Pledge calculated?
For law firms and lawyers, the percentage is calculated on the statutory attorney’s fees plus the law firm or lawyer's share of the relator’s award as collected. It is not calculated as a percent of the full relator’s award. For whistleblowers, the percentage is calculated on the relator’s award as collected, but not on that part that goes as a contingency fee to counsel. To be noted for pledging a specific, significant and sustained gift, please contact the TAF Education Fund.
Is the pledge a contract?
It is not. TAF does not consider pledges to participate in the program as contracts, and will not take any legal action to enforce the pledges.
Is there a fee-splitting issue involved with a pledge?
No. As noted, there is no contractual agreement, the pledge does not apply to designated cases, and there is no issue regarding loss of control by practitioners of their cases or impairment of their ability to exercise their professional judgment. Of course, each pledging firm or lawyer should be comfortable that it is in compliance with the governing rules of conduct.
Should a pledging firm or lawyer inform FCA clients about its pledge?
We leave that to the judgment of each law firm and lawyer. That said, we think every FCA attorney should plan for success, and that part of that planning should be consider “paying it forward” to those who are yet to come.
The “Penny Pledge” to the TAF Education Fund
(Name of Law Firm, Lawyer, or Whistleblower)____________________ pledges, to the extent permitted by applicable rules of conduct and law, to donate to the Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund 1% of the funds it receives from representing whistleblowers with respect to their qui tam claims in False Claims Act cases, including both contingent interests in relator share awards and statutory fees recovered from the defendant, OR the firm or whistleblower promises to make a specific, significant and sustained gift to further the work of the TAF Education Fund.
Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund is a not-for-profit organization that is tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and which publicizes and promotes False Claims Acts and supports whistleblowers and attorneys that file suits under a False Claim Act. Contributions to the TAF Education Fund are tax-deductible under section 501(c)(3).
This pledge is not a contract, and the TAF Education Fund will not take legal action to enforce this pledge
City and State
Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund
1220 19th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036