Is the IRS whistleblower program confidential?

Asked by: Kailey Swift  |  Last update: October 18, 2022
Score: 4.5/5 (72 votes)

The requirement that the IRS strictly protect the confidentiality of whistleblowers, and while anonymous filings are not permitted like under the SEC program, the IRS can grant confidential informant status to whistleblowers.

Are IRS whistleblower claims anonymous?

Tax Whistleblower Anonymity – IRS Whistleblower Program

The IRS Whistleblower Program does not expressly authorize tax whistleblowers to submit tips anonymously and remain eligible for a whistleblower award (unlike the SEC Whistleblower Program).

What happens when you report someone to the IRS?

This includes criminal fines, civil forfeitures, and violations of reporting requirements. In general, the IRS will pay an award of at least 15 percent, but not more than 30 percent of the proceeds collected attributable to the information submitted by the whistleblower.

Is whistle blowing anonymous?

Making your claim anonymously or confidentially

You can give your name but request confidentiality - the person or body you tell should make every effort to protect your identity. If you report your concern to the media, in most cases you'll lose your whistleblowing law rights.

Can you anonymously report someone to the IRS?

Report Suspected Tax Law Violations

Submit Form 3949-A, Information Referral onlinePDF if you suspect an individual or a business is not complying with the tax laws. We don't take tax law violation referrals over the phone. We will keep your identity confidential when you file a tax fraud report.

Tax Experts Discuss the IRS Whistleblower Program

17 related questions found

What happens if the IRS find unreported income?

Failure to report all your income can result in hefty penalties, fines, and interest, as well as jail time. Despite these penalties, the IRS estimates that the U.S. loses billion in unpaid taxes every year because of unreported income.

How long does an IRS criminal investigation take?

Unlike Revenue Agents, who are under a great deal of pressure to close civil tax audits as quickly as possible, Special Agents have the luxury of time. Often a tax fraud investigation takes twelve to twenty-four months to complete, with 1,000 to 2,000 staff hours being devoted to the case.

What is confidential whistle blowing?

An employee blows the whistle by revealing inside information-often organizational misconduct-to an outsider, such as a government regulator. ' This disclosure, by definition, contains information the corporation would rather keep secret.

What are the 3 steps in the whistleblowing process?

The following is a generalized guide to whistleblowing.
  1. Identify the Issue. What is occurring and how do you know it?
  2. Document the Facts. ...
  3. Who Needs to Know. ...
  4. Make a Decision about Confidentiality. ...
  5. Make the Call or Submit Your Disclosure.

How does IRS whistleblower program work?

An award worth between 15 and 30 percent of the total proceeds that IRS collects could be paid, if the IRS moves ahead based on the information provided. Under the law, these awards will be paid when the amount identified by the whistleblower (including taxes, penalties and interest) is more than $2 million.

How can you get someone audited?

You will report suspected fraud to the IRS by filling out a form. You can download these forms from the IRS website or order by calling 1-800-829-0433. You need to use the right form, which will depend on the violation you are reporting: Form 3949-A.

Are whistleblower awards taxable?

The awards are subject to Federal & State taxes – taxed at the highest rates for ordinary income (37% - at the Federal Level & 13% in California).

What are the consequences of whistleblowing?

Negative consequences to the whistle-blower were cited in most incidents. This include occupational consequences such as being fired or suspended from duties,5862 being forced to seek employment abroad,60 and an interrupted career. Legal and financial consequences include being threatened with legal proceedings.

How long does a whistleblower investigation take?

According to the SEC's FY 2020 Division of Enforcement Report, the median time for the SEC to open an investigation and file was 21.6 months (and the average was 24.1 months, second-fastest in the last five years, behind only 2019).

What qualifies someone as a whistleblower?

To be considered a whistleblower in the United States, most federal whistleblower statutes require that federal employees have reason to believe their employer violated some law, rule, or regulation; testify or commence a legal proceeding on the legally protected matter; or refuse to violate the law.

What are whistleblowers not protected from?

A disclosure of waste, fraud, or abuse that includes classified information is not a protected disclosure under the whistleblower laws unless the disclosure is made in accordance with the laws and rules that govern the proper handling and transmission of classified information.

What happens if a whistleblower is wrong?

If the whistleblower did have a reasonable but erroneous belief in the wrongdoing, and as a result they are dismissed by their employer, then they would potentially have a claim for unfair dismissal regardless of how long they've worked for their employer.

How much do you have to owe IRS to go to jail?

In general, no, you cannot go to jail for owing the IRS. Back taxes are a surprisingly common occurrence. In fact, according to 2018 data, 14 million Americans were behind on their taxes, with a combined value of $131 billion!

Can IRS tap your phone?

Will the IRS tap my phone? It is highly unlikely. Unless you have been under investigation for over a year, and this is at least a $5 million case, the IRS will not go through the trouble to wire tap your phones. It is far too expensive and time consuming for them to listed to every one of your conversations.

Do all tax evaders get caught?

But here's the reality: Very few taxpayers go to jail for tax evasion. In 2015, the IRS indicted only 1,330 taxpayers out of 150 million for legal-source tax evasion (as opposed to illegal activity or narcotics). The IRS mainly targets people who understate what they owe.

Does IRS check my bank account?

The Short Answer: Yes. The IRS probably already knows about many of your financial accounts, and the IRS can get information on how much is there. But, in reality, the IRS rarely digs deeper into your bank and financial accounts unless you're being audited or the IRS is collecting back taxes from you.

How do tax evaders get caught?

IRS agents likely are using social media to find tax cheats. (Again, there is little information from the agency about this activity.) Postings on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other sites can reveal lifestyles that don't fit with the amount of income reported on tax returns or with deductions claimed.

Can the IRS take all the money in your bank account?

An IRS levy permits the legal seizure of your property to satisfy a tax debt. It can garnish wages, take money in your bank or other financial account, seize and sell your vehicle(s), real estate and other personal property.

What are the pros and cons of whistleblowing?

That's why we suggest every potential whistleblower carefully consider the pros and cons of whistleblowing in the workplace:
  • Pro: Exposing Fraudulent Activity Is the Right Thing to Do. ...
  • Con: Your Career Could Suffer. ...
  • Pro: Protection from Retaliation Is Available. ...
  • Con: Your Relationships May Suffer.

Is a whistleblower protected?

The Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA) was established to ensure that employees who engage in protected disclosure are free from fear of reprisal for their disclosures. Whistleblower retaliation is the taking, failing to take, or threatening to take a personnel action because of an employee's whistleblowing.