What is an IRS Whistleblower?

A “Whistleblower” refers to someone who has reported fraud or wrongdoing by others. “Whistle blowing” can be done with respect to many kinds of improper or illegal activities, including reporting tax fraud, or tax underpayments, reporting securities fraud, violation of trade or employment laws, or fraud committed against the government. This last area, whistleblowing on a non-tax fraud against the government, is often called a “qui tam” suit. In a qui tam suit, you have to sue the party defrauding the government in court. These kinds of suits are completely different from tax whistleblower submissions made to the Internal Revenue Service. For example, as an IRS whistleblower, you do not sue the taxpayer, you deal directly and confidentially with the IRS. An IRS whistleblower has to provide high-quality information to the IRS and persuade them to use that information in an audit of the taxpayer.

Whistleblowing can be done either internally or externally within an organization. Many companies have internal programs that encourage employees to come forward to special departments within the company to report any perceived wrongdoing by others within the company. External whistleblowing, like the IRS Whistleblower Program, means coming forward to someone outside the organization to report the wrongdoing. We encourage potential whistleblowers to carefully consider the possible ramifications of both internal and external whistleblowing alternatives before proceeding.

Learn more about how to report tax evasion to the IRS.

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