IRS Tax Whistleblower Resources

IRS Whistleblower Authorities

Public Law 109-432

This law, passed on December 20, 2006: established the IRS Whistleblower Office, required annual reports to Congress, added the section 7623(b) enhanced whistleblower award provisions, and provided for an above the line deduction for attorneys fees in section 7623(b) cases.

IRS Regulations, Rulings, and Guidance

Publication 5251, The Whistleblower Claim Process

Brief overview of the IRS whistleblower claim process and information regarding submission of a claim to the IRS Whistleblower Office.

Final Treasury Regulation sections 301.6103(h)(4)-1 and 301.7623-1 through 301.7623-4

Final Treasury Regulations, effective August 12, 2014, which provide rules for governing whistleblowers under section 7623. These rules specifically include rules for submitting information and filing claims for awards, outline whistleblower administrative proceedings applicable to claims for awards, and addresses the computational determination and payment of awards.

Proposed Treasury Regulation sections 301.6103(h)(4)-1 and 301.7623-1 through 301.7623-4

Proposed Treasury Regulations, published on December 14, 2012, that propose rules for governing whistleblowers under section 7623. These rules specifically include rules for submitting information and filing claims for awards, outline whistleblower administrative proceedings applicable to claims for awards, and addresses the computational determination and payment of awards.

PMTA 2012-10, Scope of Awards Payable Under I.R.C. § 7623

IRS internal memorandum concluding that amounts recovered for violation of non-tax laws may not be considered for purposes of computing an award under section 7623.

Final Treasury Regulation section 301.7623-1(a) and (g) (published on February 22, 2012) | PDF

The treasury regulation was adopted unchanged from the proposed regulation, which extended the definition of "proceeds of amounts collected" and "collected proceeds" to include amounts collected prior to receipt of the whistleblower's information if the information provided results in the denial of a claim for refund, or a reduction of an overpayment credit balance used to satisfy a tax liability incurred.

PMTA 2011-33, Powers of Attorney in the Context of Whistleblower Cases | PDF

IRS internal memorandum concluding that Form 211R, Declaration of Representation for Whistleblower Claim, as written, does not adhere to the requirements of a valid power of attorney and cannot be accepted by the IRS as a valid power of attorney.

PMTA 2011-32, Powers of Attorney in the Context of Whistleblower Cases | PDF

The IRS cannot accept a Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative, or other power of attorney that has been altered or modified so that the power of attorney not longer complies with the established rules and regulations regarding powers of attorney for whistleblower representatives.

PMTA 2011-31, Whistleblower Office Disclosures of Tax Return Information | PDF

IRS internal memorandum concluding that employees of the Whistleblower Office are authorized to disclose taxpayer return information to whistleblowers in making determinations pursuant to section 7623, or providing status updates to whistleblowers regarding pending, unprocessed, or dismissed claims under section 7623. The specific taxpayer return information that may be disclosed to a whistleblower in a particular instance will depend on the facts and circumstances of the matter.

PMTA 2011-02, Determination of Character, Source, and Withholding Requirements with respect to Whistleblower Awards paid to Nonresident Alien Individuals

IRS internal memorandum concluding that an award paid under section 7623 to a nonresident alien individual is characterized as compensation for services and taxes must be withheld under section 1441 on the U.S. source portion of the award payment unless specifically exempted by treaty.

PTMA 2011-01, Withholding and Information Reporting under Section 7623(a) | PDF

IRS internal memorandum concluding that it is permissible to withhold potential income tax on whistleblower awards under section 7623(a), as there is no legal or factual basis for differentiating between the federal tax treatment of payments made under section 7623(a) and (b), and that a de minimis exception to administrative withholding is legally supportable.

PMTA 2010-63, Withholding Recommendation | PDF

IRS internal memorandum stating that the IRS's decision to withhold on whistleblower awards under section 7623 is legally defensible even though they have no specific statutory authority to withhold on these awards.

PMTA 2010-62, Payment of Refund Protection and Credit Reduction Claims | PDF

IRS internal memorandum concluding that including refunds not issued and the elimination or reduction of credit balances in collected proceeds is not only a legally permissible interpretation of that term, it would be consistent with the purpose of section 7623.

PMTA 2010-60, Criminal Fines and Whistleblower Awards | PDF

IRS internal memorandum concluding that criminal fines are not part of collected proceeds because all criminal fines collected for offenses against the United States government are required to be deposited in to the Crime Victims Fund, except those specifically excluded, under the Victims of Crime Act of 1984.

Treasury Regulation 301.6103(n)-2 | PDF

Final Treasury Regulations on the disclosure of return information under section 6103(n) in connection with written contracts among the IRS, whistleblowers, and legal representatives of whistleblowers, for services concerning the detection of violations of the internal revenue laws or related statutes.

Proposed Treasury Regulation 301.7623-1(a) and (g) | PDF

Treasury Regulations published on January 18, 2011 that propose extending the definition of "proceeds of amounts collected" and "collected proceeds" to include amounts collected prior to receipt of the whistleblower's information if the information provided results in the denial of a claim for refund, or a reduction of an overpayment credit balance used to satisfy a tax liability incurred.

Final UTP Regulations | PDF

Final Regulations requiring corporations to file a schedule disclosing uncertain tax positions taken on the tax return for years beginning on or after January 1, 2010.

LMSB-4-0508-033

Internal IRS procedures for analyzing informant information and disseminating it to the audit team in the IRS Large and Mid-Size Business Division.

IRS Notice 2008-4

This Notice provides guidance to the public on how to file claims under Internal Revenue Code section 7623 as amended by the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006.

Section 7623

Treasury Regulation 301.7623-1

Based on the old Informant's Rewards Program.

U.S. Tax Court Cases

Whistleblower 12568-16W v. Commissioner, 148 T.C. No. 7 (March 22, 2017)

The Tax Court held that Petitioner may proceed anonymously until and unless the Court determines differently in a case where Petitioner is seeking review of the IRS’s denial of Petitioner’s whistleblower claim.

Whistleblower 21276-13W v. Commissioner, 147 T.C. No. 4 (August 3, 2016)

The Tax Court held that the phrase “collected proceeds” is sweeping in scope and is not limited to amounts assessed and collected under Title 26 of the United States Code and that criminal fines as well as civil forfeitures are collected proceeds under section 7623(b).

Whistleblower 22716-13W v. Commissioner, 146 T.C. No. 6 (March 14, 2016)

The Tax Court held that the term "additional amounts" as used in section 7623(b)(5)(B) means civil penalties set forth in chapter 68, subchapter A of the Internal Revenue Code.  The Court further held that FBAR civil penalties are not "additional amounts" within the meaning of section 7623(b)(5)(B), and they are not "assessed, collected, ... [or] paid in the same manner as taxes."

Whistleblower One 10683-13W, Whistleblower Two 10683-13W, and Whistleblower Three 10683-13W v. Commissioner, 145 T.C. No. 8 (September 16, 2015)

The Tax Court held that the IRS cannot unilaterally decide what constitute the administrative record after the IRS objected to several discovery requests on the ground that the requested information was outside the administrative record compiled by the IRS Whistleblower Office.

Whistleblower 21276-13W v. Commissioner, 144 T.C. No. 15 (June 2, 2015)

The Tax Court held that the fact that a whistleblower supplied their information to other Federal agencies, including an IRS operating division, before submitting the information to the IRS Whistleblower Office on Form 211 does not, as a matter of law, render the whistleblower ineligible for an award under section 7623(b).

Whistleblower 22231-12W v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2014-157 (August 4, 2014)

Tax Court lacks jurisdiction to hear a case where the claim remains open and the IRS has not yet made an administrative decision on the claim.

Whistleblower 11332-13W v. Commissioner, 142 T.C. No. 21 (June 4, 2014)

The Tax Court held that it has jurisdiction to review the IRS's determination of the whistleblower claim where the whistleblower has alleged that they provided information to the IRS before and after the effective date of section 7623(b). In the pleadings, the whistleblower alleged that the information they provide post-December 2006 was significant and not simply confirmatory details.

Whistleblower 10949-13W v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2014-106 (June 4, 2014)

The Tax Court held that it has jurisdiction to review the IRS's determination of the whistleblower claim where the whistleblower has alleged that they provided information to the IRS before and after the effective date of section 7623(b). In the pleadings, the whistleblower alleged that the information they provide post-December 2006 was significant and not simply confirmatory details.

Whistleblower 11332-13W v. Commissioner; T.C. Memo. 2014-92 (May 20, 2014)

The Tax Court granted a whistleblower's motions to proceed anonymously and to seal the record, finding that the whistleblower had demonstrated that failing to seal the record could result in severe physical harm and that proceeding anonymously is necessary to protect the whistleblower's safety. The whistleblower has already suffered from actions intended to threaten and discourage the whistleblower from disclosing information after the whistleblower was subpoenaed by the Government.The whistleblower received a death threat from the targets, communicated through their counsel, and the Government offered to place the whistleblower in the witness protection program.

Whistleblower 13412-12W v. Commissioner; T.C. Memo. 2014-93 (May 20, 2014)

The Tax Court granted a whistleblower's motion to proceed anonymously, finding that the risk of harm to the whistleblower outweighs the public interest in knowing the whistleblower's identity.The whistleblower had provided the IRS information on the whistleblower's former employer.The whistleblower was retired and relied on retirement benefits the whistleblower received from the former employer.

Whistleblower 10949-13W v. Commissioner; T.C. Memo. 2014-94 (May 20, 2014)

The Tax Court granted a whistleblower's motion to proceed anonymously, finding that proceeding anonymously is necessary to protect the whistleblower's professional reputation, economic interests and personal safety.The whistleblower reported a tax fraud scheme to the government involving targets with alleged links to terrorist organizations and had used physical force and armed men to intimidate the whistleblower and prevent disclosure.

Cohen v. Commissioner. 139 T.C. No 12 (October 9, 2012)

The Tax Court dismissed a whistleblower's challenge to the IRS's decision not to pursue a lead he provided and denied his petition to force the IRS to reopen his award claim, holding that the Tax Court is not authorized by section 7623(b) to order the IRS to reopen a claim or to order the IRS to pursue particular information provided.

Whistleblower 14106-10W, Petitioner v. Commissioner, 137 T.C. No. 15 (December 8, 2011) | PDF

(Holding that the potential harm from disclosing a whistleblower's identity as a confidential informant outweighs the public interest in knowing the whistleblower’s identity, and that redacting identifying information adequately protects the whistleblower's legitimate privacy interests as a confidential informant.)

Friedland v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2011-217 (September 7, 2011)

Granting the IRS's motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction because the Petitioner failed to timely filing a petition with the Tax Court to appeal his adverse whistleblower award determination. It is important to note that the IRS argued that the letter mailed to the Petitioner denying an award was an administrative decision, thus apparently acquiescing to the Court's ruling on that issue in Cooper.

Kasper v. Commissioner 137 T.C. No. 4 (July 12, 2011)

Holding that the 30-day period to petition the Tax Court under section 7623(b)(4) begins on the date of mailing of the determination by the Whistleblower Office, and the IRS must prove by direct evidence the date and fact of mailing of the determination to the whistleblower.

Cooper v. Commissioner, 136 T.C. 30 (June 21, 2011)

Holding that the Tax Court's jurisdiction in a whistleblower case does not include opening or ordering the IRS to open an administrative or judicial action to redetermine the tax liability.

Friedland v. CIR T.C. Memo. 2011-90 (April 25, 2011)

Holding that the Tax Court has jurisdiction to review the IRS's denial of an individual's whistleblower claims, finding that an IRS letter to the individual denying his claims constitutes a "determination" under section 7623(b)(4), following Cooper v. Commissioner. But dismissed the case because the individual failed to file a timely petition with the court, within 30 days of the original denial letter.

Cooper v. Commissioner 135 T.C. No. 4 (July 8, 2010) | PDF

In a case of first impression, the Tax Court held that an IRS letter denying whistleblower awards constitutes a final administrative determination necessary to allow the court to review the petitioner's claim, and denied the IRS's motion to dismiss.

Dacosta v. United States No. 07-807T (Jul. 11, 2008)

The Court of Federal Claims dismissed actions against the government for whistle-blower rewards finding that the Tax Court has sole jurisdiction, there is no contractual claim, and transfer of the case to the Tax Court is not statutorily permissible.

Wolf v. Commissioner, T. C. Memo 2007-133 (May 30, 2007)

The Tax Court denied an untimely request for a reward under the tax whistleblower provisions.

Annual Reports

IRS Whistleblower Office Fiscal 2016 Annual Report

IRS Whistleblower Office’s report to Congress for the IRS’s fiscal year ended September 30, 2016

IRS Whistleblower Office Fiscal 2015 Annual Report

The IRS Whistleblower Office's report to Congress for the IRS's fiscal year ended September 30, 2015.

IRS Whistleblower Office Fiscal 2014 Annual Report

The IRS Whistleblower Office's report to Congress for the IRS's fiscal year ended September 30, 2014.

IRS Whistleblower Office Fiscal 2013 Annual Report

The IRS Whistleblower Office's report to Congress for the IRS's fiscal year ended September 30, 2013.

IRS Whistleblower Office Fiscal 2012 Annual Report

The IRS Whistleblower Office's report to Congress for the IRS's fiscal year ended September 30, 2012.

IRS Whistleblower Office Fiscal 2011 Annual Report

The IRS Whistleblower Office's report to Congress for the IRS's fiscal year ended September 30, 2011.

IRS Whistleblower Office Fiscal 2010 Annual Report

The IRS Whistleblower Office's report to Congress for the IRS's fiscal year ended September 30, 2010.

IRS Whistleblower Office Fiscal 2009 Annual Report | PDF

The IRS Whistleblower Office's report to Congress for the IRS's fiscal year ended September 30, 2009.

IRS Whistleblower Office Fiscal 2008 Annual Report

The IRS Whistleblower Office's report to Congress for the IRS's fiscal year ended September 30, 2008.

Internal Revenue Manual

WO 25-00614-01

Reissued interim guidance that provides updates to the Internal Revenue Manual regarding procedures for making partial award payments and refund netting, a procedure whereby whistleblowers are eligible for awards on amounts that act as offsets to adjustments made or refunds denied as a result of the whistleblower's information.

WO 25-0614-02

Reissued interim guidance that provides updates to the Internal Revenue Manual regarding procedures for whistleblower award determination administrative proceedings, allowing a whistleblower to contest the proposed award in an administrative proceeding with the IRS before a final award determination is made.

WO 25-0614-03

Reissued interim guidance that adds new sections to the Internal Revenue Manual regarding the reduction of withholding on whistleblower awards.

WO 25-00613-01

Reissued interim guidance that provides updates to the Internal Revenue Manual which outlines procedures for making partial award payments and refund netting, a procedure whereby whistleblowers are eligible for awards on amounts that act as offsets to adjustments made or refunds denied as a result of the whistleblower's information.

WO 25-0613-02

Reissued interim guidance that provides updates to the Internal Revenue Manual to outline procedures for whistleblower award determination administrative proceedings, allowing a whistleblower to contest the proposed award in an administrative proceeding with the IRS before a final award determination is made.

WO 25-0613-03

Reissued interim guidance that adds new sections to the Internal Revenue Manual that will reduce withholding on whistleblower awards.

WO 25-0612-01

Updates the Internal Revenue Manual to outline procedures for making partial award payments and refund netting, a procedure whereby whistleblowers are eligible for awards on amounts that act as offsets to adjustments made or refunds denied as a result of the whistleblower's information.

WO 25-0612-02

Updates the Internal Revenue Manual to outline procedures for whistleblower award determination administrative proceedings, allowing a whistleblower to contest the proposed award in an administrative proceeding with the IRS before a final award determination is made.

WO 25-0612-03

Adds new sections to the Internal Revenue Manual that will reduce withholding on whistleblower awards.

IRS Whistleblower Award Procedures IRM 25.2.2

(June 18, 2010) Internal IRS procedures for the payment of claims for awards to whistleblowers.

Chief Counsel Advice

Chief Counsel Notice CC-2010-004 | PDF

This Notice modifies Notice CC-2008-011 by loosening the limitations on the IRS's ability to contact Whistleblowers who are current employees of a taxpayer.

Chief Counsel Notice CC-2008-011

"Limitations on Informant Contacts: Current Employees and Taxpayer Representatives"

Chief Counsel Notice: CC-2008-001

This Notice provides guidance relating to a new cause of action in the Tax Court for review of award determinations made by the Service's Whistleblower Office, pursuant to section 7623.

Other Government Reports & Letters

TIGTA Report 2016-30-059

TIGTA determined that the Whistleblower Program has helped identify noncompliance and helped the IRS collect significant amounts of revenue; however, improvements are still needed to ensure that claims are processed appropriately and expeditiously.

GAO Report GAO-16-20, IRS Whistleblower Program - Billions Collected, but Timeliness and Communication Concerns May Discourage Whistleblowers (October 2015)

This GAO report shows that while the program has successfully brought in nearly $2 billion in additional collected proceeds, the timeliness of certain actions and communications need to be improved. 

Field Directive re: IRS Whistleblower Program, dated August 20, 2014

Deputy Commissioner John Dalrymple's directive reaffirms and updates the internal deadlines set by Steven Miller's 2012 directive and adds that Business Performance Review reports should include data on cases for which a risk analysis has been requested but not received for more then 30 days.

Commissioner Koskinen Statement regarding Whistleblower Program, dated August 20, 2014

Koskinen's statement affirming his commitment and support to the IRS Whistleblower Program.

TIGTA Report 2012-40-106 (September 10, 2012)

TIGTA auditors determined that the process for individuals to report suspected tax law violations is not efficient or effective.

Field Directive re: IRS Whistleblower Program, dated June 20, 2012

Deputy Commissioner Steven T. Miller's directive imposes formal internal deadlines for reviewing whistleblower submissions by the whistleblower office and operating divisions, and it imposes a formal deadline by when whistleblowers should be notified of an award determination.

TIGTA Report 2012-30-045

(April 30, 2012) TIGTA auditors determined that improved oversight is needed to effectively process whistleblower claims.

Letter to Commissioner Shulman urging changes to the IRS Whistleblower Program

(Letter to Commissioner Shulman from Senate Finance Committee member Charles Grassley, dated September 13, 2011, urging the IRS to incorporate the changes to the IRS's Whistleblower Program regarding claim processing and reporting key information to Congress outlined in Government Accountability Office report GAO-11-683).

Congressional News Release RE: GAO report on improved IRS whistleblower office (September 9, 2011) | PDF

(Senate Finance Committee member Charles Grassley calls on government officials to follow the road map provided in the Government Accountability Office report for how to improve the IRS Whistleblower Office, urging Treasury and IRS officials to "do all they can to ensure the success of what's clearly one of the best tools available to go after tax fraud.")

GAO Report GAO-11-683 (September 9, 2011)

“TAX WHISTLEBLOWERS - Incomplete Data Hinders IRS’s Ability to Manage Claim Processing Time and Enhance External Communication” This GAO Report addressed how improved tracking of cases by the IRS could improve the Whistleblower Program, decrease delays, and aid Congress’s ability to oversee it.

Letter to Commissioner Shulman Re: IRM 25.2.2.12 and PTMA 2010-62

(Letter to Commissioner Shulman from Scott A. Knott and Gregory S. Lynam, The Ferraro Law Firm Tax Partners, urging the IRS to take action to reconcile conflicting guidance issued by Chief Counsel with respect to whether "collected proceeds" under section 7623 include denied claims for refund, and when whistleblower award determinations are eligible to be made).

Congressional News Release RE: First recovery of tax dollars under improved IRS whistleblower office | PDF

(April 8, 2011) (Senate Finance Committee member Charles Grassley applauded the IRS's use of information provided by a whistleblower to recover $20 million that might otherwise have taken years of work by the IRS to uncover or missed entirely).

Announcement 2010-75 | PDF

The announcement explains the actions being taken by the IRS in response to the comments received on the proposed schedule and instructions for the reporting of uncertain tax positions.

Announcement 2010-76 | PDF

The announcement explains the IRS is expanding its policy of restraint in connection with its decision to require certain corporations to file Schedule UTP, Uncertain Tax Position Statement, and will forgo seeking particular documents that relate to uncertain tax positions and the workpapers that document the completion of Schedule UTP.

Letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner expressing concern that the IRS Whistleblower Program is being undermined by the new Internal Revenue Manual provisions | PDF

Letter to Secretary Geithner from Senate Finance Committee ranking minority member Charles Grassley, dated June 21, 2010, requesting a delay in the implementation of the new Internal Revenue Manual provisions until these provisions can be more fully evaluated

TIGTA Report 2009-30-114

(August 20, 2009) "DEFICIENCIES EXIST IN THE CONTROL AND TIMELY RESOLUTION OF WHISTLEBLOWER CLAIMS" This TIGTA report evaluated how the IRS has implemented the enhanced IRS Whistleblower Program. TIGTA found that the IRS did not have an effective inventory control system or adequate procedures and processes in place, creating inaccuracies and inconsistencies among control systems. The report recommends that the new single inventory control system should include reporting capabilities, written procedures with timeliness standards should be established, and processes to monitor the timely processing of claims should be developed. The IRS agreed with the recommendations and began to take corrective action.

IRS Memo SBSE-04-0909-054

Internal IRS procedures for processing cases to be analyzed by the IRS Small Business/Self-Employed Division.

IRS Whistleblower Office First Report to Congress

The IRS Whistleblower Office's first annual report to Congress on the status of the program after the first 12 months.

IRS Memo LMSB-4-1108-052

Internal IRS procedures for processing cases to be analyzed by the IRS Large and Mid-Size Business Division.

Amended Tax Court Rules re Whistleblower Actions

United States Tax Court Washington, D.C., October 3, 2008 Press Release

Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) statements about the importance of IRS Whistleblower efforts

Which he has championed in Congress for two decades.

IRS Press Release

February 2, 2007 - The first Director of the new IRS Whistleblower Office

Reference Number: 2006-30-092

The Informants' Rewards Program Needs More Centralized Management Oversight June 2006 audit report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration of the old tax whistleblower program