Eligibility Under The IRS Whistleblower Program
Any individual, whether a citizen of the United States or not, can be a whistleblower under the IRS Whistleblower Program. Entities such as corporations, partnerships or nonprofits are ineligible under the program.
To receive an award, the person wishing to expose the tax violation must meet several conditions to qualify for the program. The information must be: signed and submitted under the penalties of perjury – it cannot be submitted anonymously or under an alias; relate to a violation of the tax laws in which the tax, penalties, interest, additions to tax, and additional amounts in dispute exceed $2,000,000; and relate to a taxpayer, and for individual taxpayers only, one whose gross income exceeds $200,000 for at least one of the tax years in question. The information provided must be specific and credible, submitted on IRS Form 211, an application for Award for Original Information, and substantially contribute to an administrative or judicial proceeding that results in the collection of tax, penalties, interest, additions to tax, or additional amounts.
Further, the whistleblower cannot:
- be an employee of the Department of Treasury, or is acting within the scope of his or her duties as an employee of any federal, state, or local government;
- be required by federal law or regulation to disclose the information, or be precluded by federal law or regulation from making the disclosure;
- obtain the information while acting in his or her official capacity as a member of a state body or commission having access to such materials as federal returns, copies or abstracts; and
- have (or had) access to taxpayer information arising out of a contract with the federal government that forms the basis of the claim.
Finally, the information provided to the IRS must be new and not previously reported. The IRS pays awards only to those individuals who are first to file a whistleblower claim.
If you have information about a tax law violation that you are considering reporting to the IRS, contact Freiberger Haber LLP. We can help you understand the requirements and conditions that need to be satisfied in order to be eligible for an award under the IRS Whistleblower Program.