Tax Whistleblower Law Firm’s (TWLF) sole practice is representing IRS whistleblowers. As many whistleblowers and their lawyer’s become frustrated with the program, TWLF continues to have confidence in its legal abilities, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the IRS Whistleblower Program as well as the U.S. Tax Court.
There have been many changes since the program began. Today, there is plenty of guidance in the form of Notices, Memos, and Internal Revenue Manual provisions instructing the IRS personnel how to proceed with the IRS Whistleblower Program. As of August 2014, there are final treasury regulations interpreting I.R.C. § 7623 and as time goes on, we have more and more precedent in the form of U.S. Tax Court opinions interpreting the whistleblower law, IRS procedures and the role of the IRS in determining awards.
However, what is most telling is the annual report that must be sent to Congress. When Congress authorized the new IRS Whistleblower Program in December 2006, it required annual reporting to Congress about how the new whistleblower provisions were being used, the results obtained, and any recommendations to be implemented to improve the program. This was essentially a report card by the Whistleblower Office that informed the world what it had accomplished and the direction it was moving. This was also Congress’ way of evaluating how the most powerful tool for tax enforcement that Congress could have given the IRS was being used.
This reporting practice, like any reporting was a process that would develop over time. It was expected that the reporting would be earlier than the year before and perhaps more detailed as time went by. Instead, the reports seemed to come later and later in the following years and the reporting became so complicated that it was no longer a picture of activity as of the IRS fiscal year end, September 30th. Therefore, the information being disclosed could no long be used for a year by year comparison. If this was a public company, a restatement of the financial statements would be required so that the investor would have a meaningful statement.
As an example, the Annual report that was finally issued for the year ended September 30, 2014 was not issued until July, 2015, nearly 10 months after the year end. However, perhaps due to the long reporting period, or perhaps to better the numbers, there are many statistics as to a point in time other than September 30th making it impossible to compare the progress of the program from one fiscal year to the next.
PREDICTION: The Tax Whistleblower Law Firm (TWLF) predicts that with the appointment of Lee Martin as the new IRS Whistleblower Director, the 2015 annual report will be issued earlier than in past years. Mr. Martin, with his Information Technology background, should be able to gather, process and analyze the data to publish the report timely, as originally expected by Congress. In addition, it will also be his first opportunity to show Congress, the Commissioner, and Whistleblowers that he is serious about his new position and serious about the Program.