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Confidentiality and Disclosure for Whistleblowers

Confidentiality of Whistleblower

  • The Service will protect the identity of the whistleblower to the fullest extent permitted by the law.
  • Under some circumstance, such as when the whistleblower is an essential witness in a judicial proceeding, it may not be possible to pursue the investigation or examination without revealing the whistleblower’s identify.
  • The Service will inform the whistleblower before deciding whether to proceed in such cases.

Disclosure of taxpayer information

  • Once a claim is submitted, the informant may be told only the status and disposition of the claim – not the action taken in the taxpayer case.
  • We can say whether the claim is still open or has been closed.
    If closed we can say that a claim is payable (and the amount) or that the claim is denied.
  • A claim can be denied if:
    • the IRS already had the information from another source,
    • an audit or investigation is conducted but leads to no finding of taxpayer liability,
    • A finding or liability is made but the taxpayer is successful in an administrative or judicial appeal,
    • Or a finding of liability is made and sustained but there is no collection because the taxpayer has no known assets that we can collect against.
  • All of that information about the taxpayer is covered by privacy laws which impose strict limits on what we can disclose.


Informant Award (Whistleblower)

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 21-Feb-2014