Statement on IRS Whistleblower Program
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen/August 2014
The IRS Whistleblower Program, revised and expanded by Congress in 2006, is an important tool for improving tax administration. I am a strong believer in this program and proud of the work being done by the IRS Whistleblower Office. The information received from whistleblowers has the potential to assist the IRS in detecting tax compliance issues, which in turn helps ensure the integrity and fairness of our tax system. Average taxpayers who play by the rules must be confident that corporations and wealthy individuals cannot avoid paying their fair share of tax through the creation and use of complicated financial structures that exploit the tax law.
It is clear that the IRS Whistleblower Program has been making important contributions to the tax system: over the last three fiscal years, the IRS has paid out more than $186 million in awards, on collection of more than $1 billion based on whistleblower information. These collections, and the awards that followed from them, came about through the dedicated efforts of our field agents and managers, and demonstrate the IRS’ commitment to taking appropriate action on whistleblower submissions and compensating whistleblowers under the law.
The IRS’ commitment to the Whistleblower Program is also reflected in the significant progress the agency has made to date in implementing the 2006 law. This includes the recent issuance of regulations designed to define relevant terms under that law and allow disclosure of information, to the extent that the law permits and in a manner that is administratively feasible.
Looking to the future, the IRS must do everything possible to strengthen the Whistleblower Program and build on the progress already made in implementing the law, while remaining mindful of the need to protect taxpayer rights. I am committed to expanding the program’s reach and improving communications with existing and potential whistleblowers. To the extent that statutory changes are needed to further improve the program, I intend to work with Congress to ensure that such changes are enacted. Given the support for the Whistleblower Program evidenced at all levels of our agency, I am confident the program will continue to grow and evolve as a critical element in the IRS’ program of tax compliance.
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