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.
Treasury issued final regulations to implement section 7623, with an effective date of August 12, 2014. The regulations generally apply to claims that are open as of the effective date. Section 301.7623-4, which contains the rules for determining the amount and payment of awards, applies to claims for award under section 7623(b) that are open as of August 12, 2014, and to information submitted after that date. The amount and payment of awards under 7623(a) for information received prior to August 12, 2014 will be paid under the rules described in the Internal Revenue Manual. See link below.
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.
The Whistleblower Office has developed new rules that became effective August 1, 2012. We are providing the three Interim Guidance memoranda below.
- IRM 25.2.2 - Interim Guidance - General Changes
Whistleblower Office has reissued a memorandum to employees on June 6, 2014 changing and/or clarifying procedures involving collected proceeds, corresponding with whistleblowers and representatives confirming termination, timing of award determinations, award computation, and funding awards. The guidance became effective on August 1, 2012.
- IRM 25.2.2 – Interim Guidance - Whistleblower Award Administrative Proceedin
Whistleblower Office has reissued a memorandum to employees on June 6, 2014 regarding procedural changes to IRM 22.214.171.124 Whistleblower Award Administrative Proceeding. The guidance became effective on August 1, 2012.
- IRM 25.2.2 – Interim Guidance - Whistleblower Withholding Program
Whistleblower Office has reissued a memorandum to employees on June 6, 2014 providing guidance on the new Whistleblower Withholding Program. The guidance became effective on August 1, 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.
What Happens to a Claim for an Informant Award (Whistleblower)
Procedures used and the criteria followed to identify and process informant cases
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.
- IRS Whistleblower Office 2013 Annual Report
- IRS Whistleblower Office 2012 Annual Report
- IRS Whistleblower Office 2011 Annual Report
- IRS Whistleblower Office 2010 Annual Report
- FY2009 Report to Congress on the Whistleblower Program
- FY 2008 Report to Congress on the Whistleblower Program
- First Report to Congress on the Whistleblower Program
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.
The IRS sets professional standards for attorneys, certified public accountants and enrolled agents who represent taxpayers before the IRS. To learn more about those professional standards, or how to report a violation, see Office of Professional Responsibility At-a-Glance Report and Circular 230 Violations – email OPR@irs.gov
Report Fraud, Waste and Abuse to Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), if you want to report, confidentially, misconduct, waste, fraud, or abuse by an IRS employee or a Tax Professional, you can call 1-800-366-4484 (1-800-877-8339 for TTY/TDD users). You can remain anonymous.