9. August 2016 09:48
In a recent ruling by the U.S. Tax Court, two whistleblowers were awarded $17.8 million. This decision considerably increases the scope of what can be claimed, and could result in both larger awards and in more whistleblowers coming forward in the future.
The IRS whistleblower program allows individuals with information about tax violations to file claims with the IRS confidentially, and it rewards those individuals with up to 30% of what the government collects as a result. This decision marks the first time a whistleblower received a portion of the criminal fines, civil forfeitures, and taxes that the government recovered, and it eliminated any concern by whistleblowers that they would receive less if the IRS pursued criminal charges rather than just tax collection. Note this ruling is recent, and can be appealed by the IRS.
This was one of the largest awards ever. For context, award statistics for the most recent year show $103.5 million distributed in 99 awards.