But today I wanted to provide a counterpoint perspective. I don’t want you to think that I’m against whistleblowing in a case where there is a tax cheat, and I do like that this system provides an incentive for taxpayers to help bring to justice those who would cheat on their taxes. I support it for the same reason I support Crimestoppers and other crime-reporting measures: While approved officials should ultimately be the ones to investigate and protect us from lawbreakers, sometimes the “person on the street” can see laws being broken that others cannot.
I also like that the IRS is theoretically incentivizing whistleblowers. (I say “theoretically” because it doesn’t sound like anyone has been paid yet).
Here’s why I really like this program more than many others: While it is not a perfect system, it is a system designed to help stop tax cheats. Frequently, we see many IRS programs initiated that seem to focus on squeezing more tax dollars out of hard-working, honest taxpayers while completely ignoring those who are working the system and getting a loophole. This program focuses on those who truly should be paying more taxes: the tax cheats!
If you are aware of a situation where someone is cheating on their taxes, you could earn a reward while doing your part for the country. You can earn between 15% and 30% of the proceeds collected by the IRS (as long as the amount owed is above $2 million). There are smaller rewards if the amount is less.
This has the potential to be a good program as long as the IRS doesn’t get bogged down in bureaucracy. And if they really want it to be successful, they should keep a running total of the amount of payouts they’ve made thanks to whisteblowers.
(Photo credit: katerha)