1.1.26  Whistleblower Office  (06-08-2010)
Introduction to the Whistleblower Office

  1. The Whistleblower Office administers the program governing payment of awards to certain persons who detect underpayment of tax by filing a claim for an award under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 7623 as amended by the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 (the Act), enacted December 20, 2006. Individuals are eligible for an award based on the amount collected as a result of any administrative or judicial action resulting from the information provided. The Whistleblower Office:

    1. Reviews and evaluates claims filed for award by whistleblowers.

    2. Coordinates whistleblower claims with other functions within the Service.

    3. Monitors claims throughout the life of each claim, including through the investigation, examination, appeals, and collection process.

    4. Evaluates the benefit of the information brought forward by the whistleblower.

    5. Makes a determination about the appropriateness of an award.

    6. Determines the appropriate percentage for award.

    7. Chairs the Whistleblower Executive Board which provides executive level coordination and direction for the whistleblower program.

    8. Facilitates communication with external and internal customers and stakeholders concerning the Whistleblower Program.  (06-08-2010)
The Whistleblower Office

  1. The Whistleblower Office was established as a result of enactment of the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 (the Act), signed into law on December 20, 2006. Section 406 of the Act amended IRC 7623 concerning the payment of awards. The prior statutory authority to pay awards was reassigned as IRC 7623(a) and a new section 7623(b) was added. Additional provision in section 406 required establishment of a Whistleblower Office within the IRS to address award program administration issues. The IRC 7623(a) awards remains as a discretionary program while awards under IRC 7623(b) are statutory provided certain criteria are met.

  2. The Director, Whistleblower Office, reports to the Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement and has direct supervisory responsibility for the Whistleblower Office and the Whistleblower Program.

  3. The Mission of the Whistleblower Office is to administer the Whistleblower Program in a fair and equitable manner by applying standards of excellence throughout the program. To accomplish the mission, the Director:

    1. Coordinates with Operating Divisions. Criminal Investigation and Counsel.

    2. Defines and communicates key performance goals.

    3. Analyzes program trends to drive policy and outreach strategies.

    4. Develops clear process standards within the program.

    5. Develops and fosters working relationships with partner organizations.

    6. Conducts outreach activities with external stakeholders to educate and guide actions to improve submissions.

    7. Directs the implementation of office policy and procedures.

    8. Monitors performance goals.

    9. Provides technical guidance.

    10. Conducts a study each year and reports to the Congress on the use of IRC 7623 and any legislative or administrative recommendations for IRC 7623 and its application of the Act.

  4. The following manager reports to the Director, Whistleblower Office.

    • Chief, Case Development and Oversight Branch  (06-08-2010)
Case Development and Oversight Branch

  1. The Chief, Case Development and Oversight Branch, reports to the Director, Whistleblower Office.

  2. The mission of the Case Development and Oversight Branch is to develop, review and evaluate incoming claims to determine whether the criteria for IRC 7623(b) are met and shepherd the claim through the various IRS functions, where appropriate.

  3. To accomplish its mission, the Chief Case Development and Oversight Branch:

    1. Evaluates the validity of the submission.

    2. Refers cases to Operating Divisions and the ICE Unit as appropriate.

    3. Interacts with the Operating Division’s whistleblower program Subject Matter Experts to ensure a smooth transition of claim information and further ensure an ongoing or future examination or appeals case is not tainted by the information.

    4. Monitors the cases through examination, investigation, assessment and collection of proceeds.

    5. Reviews the Form 11369 and supporting attachments to determine whether it provides an adequate basis for an award decision.

    6. Prepares a proposed determination to the Director, Whistleblower Office.

    7. Acts as liaison for the Whistleblower Office and all Operating Divisions.

    8. Monitors trends to drive policy and procedural changes.  (06-08-2010)
Definition of Terms

  1. Whistleblower - The new law refers to the person who files a claim for an award as a whistleblower, so that term is used throughout the process.

  2. Informant - The prior law referred to the person who filed a claim for an award as an "informant" and referred to the program as the "Informant Claims Program." This term is generally only used now when referring to the prior program.

  3. Claimant - This term refers to the person who files a Form 211, Application for Award for Original Information. The claimant is also the whistleblower.

  4. Claim - The claim for an award is the actual form used which is Form 211, Application for Original Information.

  5. Pre-Enactment Claims - This term is applied to all claims filed with the Service prior to enactment of the new rules, December 20, 2006. These claims are handled under the prior discretionary rules.

  6. Post-Enactment Claims - Claims filed on December 20, 2006 or later are in this category. Claims will be indentified either as an "A" claim or a "B" claim.

  7. "A" Claims -" A" claims are those in which the alleged amount does not qualify for "B" claims status; that is, the amount alleged does not rise to the level of the thresholds established for "B" claims.

  8. "B" Claims - These claims are those where the total tax, penalties, interest, additional to tax, and additional amounts in dispute must exceed $2 million and if the case involves an individual, the individual’s gross income for any year at issue must exceed $200 thousand.  (06-08-2010)

  1. The following resources provide additional information on the Whistleblower Office:

    • Whistleblower Office website - http://irweb.irs.gov/AboutIRS/bu/wo/default.aspx

    • IRS.gov public website - http://irs.gov then enter key word whistleblower

    • IRM 25.2.1, Information and Whistleblower Awards, Receiving Information

    • IRM 25.2.2, Information and Whistleblower Awards, Whistleblower Awards Form 211, Application for Award for Original Information

    • Notice 2008-4, Guidance to the public on how to submit claims to the IRS Whistleblower Office under Section 76.  (06-08-2010)
Filing a Claim

  1. As outlined in Notice 2008-4 and on Form 211, Application for Award for Original Information, individuals submitting information under IRC 7623(a) or IRC 7623(b) must complete IRS Form 211 (available on www.irs.gov) and send the completed form to:

    Internal Revenue Service
    Whistleblower Office SE:WO
    1111 Constitution Ave NW
    Washington DC 20224

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