The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) functions as a government entity that collects taxes on behalf of the federal government. Almost every individual and business entity in the country must pay some form of tax on their income or profits. The IRS has broad powers to investigate alleged non-payment of taxes, but even so, it lacks the funding and personnel to adequately police these issues.

As a result, Congress created the whistleblower program. Whistleblowers take it upon their own shoulders to report the non-payment of taxes to the IRS. If the IRS conducts a successful tax investigation after receiving notice from a whistleblower, they have the power to issue substantial rewards.

A Columbia IRS whistleblower lawyer could help individuals who are considering filing a report with the IRS. This includes assisting with the submission paperwork, guiding individuals through the investigation, and protecting parties from potential retaliation.

Seeking Compensation Through a Writ of Qui Tam

Qui Tam describes the process whereby whistleblowers can claim a portion of the taxes recovered in an IRS investigation. IRS claims cannot be brought under the FCA, however, the IRS has a procedure that provides for the possibility of recovery for providing information of tax malfeasance.  However, merely submitting information to the IRS concerning an apparent non-payment of taxes is insufficient to collect this reward.

Individuals must start by submitting Form 211 to the IRS. This form requires specific information concerning both the whistleblower and the entity facing accusations of non-payment. If the IRS believes that there is good cause to begin an investigation, this form serves as notice that a party is seeking a reward through Qui Tam. An IRS Qui Tam attorney in Columbia could help to determine whether a situation merits a party coming forward as a whistleblower.

An attorney could also help to protect individuals against potential retaliation. While the Tax Code does not specifically prohibit retaliation against parties reporting a non-payment, it may still be possible to shield whistleblowers from retaliation. This is because many instances alleging non-payment of taxes are also instances of fraud. By law, whistleblowers who report this fraud enjoy protection under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. If a party fears retribution when serving as a whistleblower, an attorney could help to set their minds at ease.

Federal Law Prohibits Certain Parties from Claiming a Reward

23 United States Code § 7623 states that the successful conclusion of an IRS investigation after receiving a tip from a whistleblower may result in the issuance of a reward. Under the statute, this reward will be between 15 and 30 percent of the total taxes recovered in the investigation.

Still, certain parties are per se ineligible to collect these payments. They include:

  • Any person required to disclose tax evasion or fraud by law
  • People who do not provide personally-identifying information in their whistleblower form
  • Employees of the Department of the Treasury or people performing their jobs as government employees
  • When the subject of the whistleblower complaint is an individual with an income of less than $200,000

A Columbia IRS whistleblower attorney could help to determine a party’s eligibility for a reward through the Qui Tam process. They could also assist parties to estimate the potential value of the reward.

Reach Out to a Columbia IRS Whistleblower Attorney Today

The federal tax code specifically states that any individual may alert the federal government to the non-payment of taxes. For many people, this may event result in a reward after filing a writ of Qui Tam. These rewards are possible when an individual serves as a whistleblower and a subsequent investigation leads to a recovery of overdue taxes.

A Columbia IRS whistleblower lawyer could help to guide individuals through this process. This includes investigating the apparent non-payment, submitting forms to the IRS, and protecting whistleblowers against potential retaliation. Contact a Qui Tam attorney in Columbia today to learn more.

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