M E M O R A N D U M
To: Reporters and Editors
Re: IRS whistleblower office
Da: Friday, January 14, 2011
Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa is the author of the 2006 law improving the IRS whistleblower office to encourage people with information about tax fraud to come forward. Grassley modeled the whistleblower improvements after the successful 1986 whistleblower amendments to the federal False Claims Act. Grassley was the Senate author of the False Claims Act whistleblower amendments. The IRS has been slow to make awards under the improved law. Last June, Grassley wrote to the agency, expressing concern that agency procedures were limiting whistleblowers’ abilities to claim rewards, contrary to congressional intent. For example, the agency determined that the whistleblower was ineligible for a reward if the whistleblower simply prevented the IRS from issuing a refund or if the claim reduced the amount of the refund the taxpayer was claiming. Today, the IRS filed proposed regulations with the Office of the Federal Register that will be published on January 18, 2011. These regulations would reverse these limitations, which Grassley questioned in his June letter. Grassley made the following comment on the proposed regulations.
"These regulations are good news for whistleblowers. The Commissioner made the common-sense decision of ensuring that individuals who blow the whistle on improper refund claims will be rewarded, as I intended when I wrote the law. These new regulations will help the IRS target tax fraud. This is an issue of fairness for honest taxpayers. I hope these new regulations mean the IRS has turned the corner on encouraging whistleblowers and that this program will be a success. Next, the IRS needs to finalize these regulations quickly so they will apply to all the whistleblowers who filed claims after the 2006 law and have been waiting for their awards.”