Business executives across the globe understand that in order to maximize profits, it is essential to minimize the company’s tax liability. Unfortunately, many unscrupulous individuals are willing to go so far as to break the law just to increase their company’s bottom line. Common methods of illegal tax avoidance include underreporting taxable income, inflating deductions or expenses, hiding money in offshore accounts, false record-keeping, misuse of trusts, and securities fraud, just to name a few.
Tax fraud is a significant drain on the U.S. economy. For this reason, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) provides substantial monetary incentives for individuals who voluntarily offer specific and credible information resulting in the collection of unpaid taxes, penalties, interest, and other amounts. IRS whistleblowers may be awarded up to 30 percent of the amount the IRS recovers from the subject taxpayer. Axler Goldich is committed to recovering maximum awards for whistleblowers while minimizing the impact of the case on their personal lives.
The IRS allows for two types of whistleblower awards. The first deals with violators who have a total unpaid IRS debt in excess of $2 million. Additionally, if the case involves an individual (rather than a business), the person must have earned at least $200,000 in one of the years in question. If the information provided is used by the IRS to prosecute or settle the tax fraud, the whistleblower may be eligible to receive between 15 percent and 30 percent of the IRS’s proceeds. If the informant disagrees with the award amount, he or she can file an appeal with the Tax Court.
Awards for claims that fall below the minimum $2 million threshold are covered by the IRS Form 211 program. Awards under this program are discretionary, with a maximum of 15 percent of the government’s recovered funds, up to $10 million. The court’s decision in these cases is final, meaning the informant cannot dispute the claim in Tax Court.
Whistleblower awards are only available to those who can provide solid evidence of IRS tax violations. The IRS will not open an investigation on the basis of mere speculation. The informant does not have to be an insider, but he or she should be close enough to have access to documents or other evidence that shows the alleged practice. If the whistleblower played an active role in the tax fraud that he or she is reporting, the IRS may bar the person from receiving any award.
The IRS will generally protect the identity of the whistleblower unless a federal judge orders that the information be disclosed. An IRS whistleblower lawyer may be used as an intermediary to help safeguard the informant’s identity during and after the investigation. In some rare circumstances, the whistleblower may be called to testify as a witness in a civil or criminal proceeding related to the tax fraud. Individuals with knowledge of tax violations should consult an experienced tax whistleblower lawyer to determine whether he or she may be called as a witness in court.
If you have knowledge that a business or individual is engaged in illegal tax evasion, you are urged to call the Philadelphia whistleblower lawyers at Axler Goldich immediately. We will evaluate your case to determine if you have a possible claim. We will work closely with you to develop a winning strategy that ensures you receive the maximum award possible with minimal disruptions to your life. Call 866-207-2920 today to schedule a consultation at our Philadelphia, Pennsylvania office or contact us online. We represent clients nationwide.