The Morning Economic Report
5:30 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Whistleblowers - 4/25/14

You may remember when you were in school, someone, perhaps your parents, advised you not to be a tattle-tail.  That advice should be reconsidered.  The Internal Revenue Service paid $53 million in awards to whistleblowers in fiscal year 2013 and collected $367 million based on information provided by tipsters. 

According to the Wall Street Journal, both totals are actually smaller than comparable figures for fiscal year 2012.  That year the award total reached $125 million because it included a payment of $104 million to just one whistleblower – Bradley BIrkenfeld, whose disclosures regarding Swiss banking giant UBS induced US officials to execute a massive campaign against undeclared offshore accounts held by U.S. taxpayers in Switzerland and elsewhere.

The IRS maintains to whistleblower programs.  The first has existed for decades and makes payments as high as 15 percent of tax collected and applies in cases involving less than $2 million of tax.  The other is only about 8 years old and makes payments of up to 30 percent of tax collected for cases involves tax of $2 million or more.