In late October 2012, attorneys representing a tax whistleblower announced that their client had been awarded more than $38 million by the IRS for exposing a corporate tax avoidance scheme. This award comes less than two months after the IRS awarded $104 million to Bradley Birkenfeld for blowing the whistle on his former employer, UBS, and constitutes the second major award since the IRS whistleblower program was revised in 2006.
Of note is the fact that the whistleblower’s identify has not been revealed, consistent with IRS policy. It is reported that the target corporation did not even know that the IRS investigation was triggered by a tip from a whistleblower.
The identity of the target corporation was also not disclosed, though it is said to be a Fortune 500 company. Based on current IRS guidelines which provide that a whistleblower must be awarded between 15 and 30 percent of monies collected by the IRS, the target corporation presumably paid to the government between $126 million and $250 million in taxes and penalties.
This award should demonstrate to other corporate insiders that they can safely report their employer’s improper tax practices without their identity being disclosed. To maintain anonymity, a tax whistleblower’s information can be reported to the IRS through counsel.
The consumer and tax payer rights law firm of Lubin Austermuehle represents whistleblowers who are pursing qui tam lawsuits at any level of government or for violations of the securities laws and IRS code, including claims under the Illinois Whistleblower Act, the Chicago whistleblower ordinance, the Dodd-Frank Act and the federal False Claims Act. Based in Chicago and Oak Brook, Ill., our Naperville and Lake Forest area qui tam and False Claims Act lawyers stand ready to represent whistleblowers throughout the United States — regardless of whether prosecutors have decided to join the lawsuit. If you know about fraud against a government agency and you’re ready to speak up, you can learn more about whistleblower lawsuits at a free, confidential consultation. To set one up, please contact Lubin Austermuehle online or call (833) 306-4933 today.