The IRS Whistleblower Office pays monetary awards to eligible individuals whose information is used by the IRS. The award percentage depends on several factors, but generally falls between 15 and 30 percent of the proceeds collected and attributable to the whistleblower's information. Awards can only be issued once a final determination can be made, and as such, award payments cannot be made until the taxpayer has exhausted all appeal rights and the taxpayer no longer can file a claim for refund or otherwise seek to recover the proceeds from the government.

Submit a Whistleblower Claim

Individuals must use IRS Form 211, Application for Award for Original Information, and ensure that it contains the following:

  • A description of the alleged tax noncompliance, including a written narrative explaining the issue(s).
  • Information to support the narrative, such as copies of books and records, ledger sheets, receipts, bank records, contracts, emails, and the location of assets.
  • A description of documents or supporting evidence not in the whistleblower's possession or control, and their location.
  • An explanation of how and when the whistleblower became aware of the information that forms the basis of the claim.
  • A complete description of the whistleblower's present or former relationship (if any) to the subject of the claim (for example, family member, acquaintance, client, employee, accountant, lawyer, bookkeeper, customer).
  • The whistleblower's original signature on the declaration under penalty of perjury (a representative cannot sign Form 211 for the whistleblower) and the date of signature.

Individuals must then mail the Form 211 with supporting documentation to:

Internal Revenue Service
Whistleblower Office – ICE
1973 N Rulon White Blvd.
M/S 4110
Ogden, UT 84404

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Claim eligibility

Any individual, other than an individual described below, is eligible to file a claim for award and to receive an award under section 7623.

The Whistleblower Office will reject any claim for award filed by an ineligible whistleblower and will provide written notice of the rejection to the whistleblower. The following individuals are not eligible to file a claim for award or receive an award under section 7623:

  • An individual who is an employee of the Department of Treasury or was an employee of the Department of Treasury when the individual obtained the information on which the claim is based;
  • An individual who obtained the information through the individual's official duties as an employee of the Federal Government, or who is acting within the scope of those official duties as an employee of the Federal Government;
  • An individual who is or was required by Federal law or regulation to disclose the information or who is or was precluded by Federal law or regulation from disclosing the information;
  • An individual who obtained or had access to the information based on a contract with the federal government; or
  • An individual who filed a claim for award based on information obtained from an ineligible whistleblower for the purpose of avoiding the rejection of the claim that would have resulted if the claim was filed by the ineligible whistleblower.

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What are the rules for getting an award?

Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 7623 provides for awards, in some cases mandatory, when the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) takes action based on a whistleblower's information. Claims for award that provide specific and credible information regarding tax underpayments or violations of internal revenue laws and that lead to proceeds collected may qualify for an award.

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 defined proceeds as penalties, interest, additions to tax, and additional amounts provided under the internal revenue laws, as well as any proceeds arising from laws for which the IRS is authorized to administer, enforce, or investigate. This includes criminal fines, civil forfeitures, and violations of reporting requirements.

In general, the IRS will pay an award of at least 15 percent, but not more than 30 percent of the proceeds collected attributable to the information submitted by the whistleblower. The award percentage decreases for claims based on information from public sources or if the whistleblower planned and initiated the actions that led to the noncompliance. Awards will be processed as either a section 7623(a) or 7623(b) award.

To qualify for the IRC section 7623(b) award program, the information must:

  • Relate to a tax noncompliance matter in which the tax, penalties, interest, additions to tax, and additional proceeds in dispute exceed $2,000,000; and
  • Relate to a taxpayer, and for individual taxpayers only, one whose gross income exceeds $200,000 for at least one of the tax years in question.

If a submission does not meet the criteria for IRC section 7623(b) consideration, the IRS will consider it for the discretionary program under IRC section 7623(a) of the Code.

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Annual Report to Congress

The Secretary of the Treasury reports to Congress each fiscal year on the use of Internal Revenue Code section 7623. The Whistleblower Office Report to Congress for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2020 was released on December 29, 2020. Reports for prior years are also available.

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More Information

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News from the Whistleblower Office

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