In a recent blog post I talked about the IRS Whistleblower office and the mysteries surrounding the program.
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.
You can read more about the IRS’ Whistleblower’s Office and find forms and documentation for reporting.
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)