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Whistleblower - Informant Award


The IRS Whistleblower Office pays money to people who blow the whistle on persons who fail to pay the tax that they owe. If the IRS uses information provided by the whistleblower, it can award the whistleblower up to 30 percent of the additional tax, penalty and other amounts it collects.


Fiscal 2014 Sequester Notice from Whistleblower Office dated October 1, 2013:  Impact on whistleblower payments.

Fiscal 2013 Sequester Notice from Whistleblower Office dated March 1, 2013: Impact on whistleblower payments.

Treasury proposed regulations to implement 26 USC 7623, as amended, on December 18, 2012. The public comment period has officially closed and the comments received are under evaluation. The IRS often receives comments on proposed regulations after the official comment period has closed and may consider late submissions in preparing final regulations. 


The Whistleblower Office has developed new rules that became effective August 1, 2012. We are providing the three Interim Guidance memoranda below. 

Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement Memorandum dated June 20, 2012


Who can get an award?

The IRS may pay awards to people who provide specific and credible information to the IRS if the information results in the collection of taxes, penalties, interest or other amounts from the noncompliant taxpayer.

The IRS is looking for solid information, not an “educated guess” or unsupported speculation. We are also looking for a significant Federal tax issue - this is not a program for resolving personal problems or disputes about a business relationship.

What are the rules for getting an award?

The law provides for two types of awards. If the taxes, penalties, interest and other amounts in dispute exceed $2 million, and a few other qualifications are met, the IRS will pay 15 percent to 30 percent of the amount collected. If the case deals with an individual, his or her annual gross income must be more than $200,000. If the whistleblower disagrees with the outcome of the claim, he or she can appeal to the Tax Court. These rules are found at Internal Revenue Code IRC Section 7623(b) - Whistleblower Rules.

The IRS also has an award program for other whistleblowers - generally those who do not meet the dollar thresholds of $2 million in dispute or cases involving individual taxpayers with gross income of less that $200,000. The awards through this program are less, with a maximum award of 15 percent up to $10 million. In addition, the awards are discretionary and the informant cannot dispute the outcome of the claim in Tax Court. The rules for these cases are found at Internal Revenue Code IRC Section 7623(a) - Informant Claims Program, and some of the rules are different from those that apply to cases involving more than $2 million.

If you decide to submit information and seek an award for doing so, use IRS Form 211. The same form is used for both award programs.

More Information

What Happens to a Claim for an Informant Award (Whistleblower)
Procedures used and the criteria followed to identify and process informant cases

Whistleblower Law
A brief synopsis of what the new whistleblower law entails. This is the most significant change to the Services’ approach to informant awards in 140 years

How Do You File a Whistleblower Award Claim
Step by step procedures to follow to file an informant claim for award

Confidentiality and Disclosure for Whistleblowers
The rules governing confidentiality of informant information

IRC Section 7623(b) - Whistleblower Rules
The requirements of the new rules enacted in IRC Section 7623(b), the Whistleblower Program

IRC Section 7623(a) - Informant Claims Program
The requirement of the rules governing claims that do not meet the requirements of the provisions in the whistleblower program under IRC Section 7623(b). These claims are part of the Informant Claims Program

IRS Form 211
Application for Award for Original Information

News Release IR-2007-201
Procedure Unveiled for Reporting Violations of the Tax Law, Making Reward Claims

Notice 2008-4 Guidance to the public on how to file claims
Claims Submitted to the IRS Whistleblower Office under Section 7623

History of the Whistleblower/Informant Program
Historical information on the evolution of the concept of paying for leads from its inception up to the current law followed today

Realignment of Informant Claims Examination Unit into Whistleblower Office
The Informant Claims Examination Unit in Ogden, Utah has been realigned with the Whistleblower Office. Their new name is Whistleblower Office - Ogden.

Information and Whistleblower Awards

  • IRM 25.2.1, Receiving Information — This chapter provides procedures and guidance for all Service personnel to follow when receiving information dealing with whistleblowers’ claims for award.
  • IRM 25.2.2, Whistleblower Awards — This chapter provides procedures and guidance for all Service personnel to follow when dealing with payment of whistleblowers’ claims for award.

Whistleblower Office At-a-Glance

Annual Reports

Reporting other information to the IRS

If you have information about tax noncompliance but are not interested in an award, or you have other information you believe may be of interest to the IRS:

  • For information on how to Report Suspected Tax Fraud Activity, if you have information about an individual or company you suspect is not complying with the tax law, and you do not want to seek an award . You can remain anonymous
Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 06-Jun-2014