IRS has issued information regarding notifications to whistleblowers required under the Taxpayer First Act.
Background. IRS has the authority to reward individuals (whistleblowers) who provide it with information leading to the collection of tax, interest and/or penalties against a taxpayer (whistleblower awards). (Code Sec. 7623)
Sec. 1405(a) of the Taxpayer First Act of 2019 (the Act, P.L. 116-25) made changes pertaining to the notification process to whistleblowers. With respect to disclosures made after July 1, 2019, the Act allows IRS to exchange information with whistleblowers where doing so would be helpful to an investigation. It also requires IRS to notify whistleblowers of the status of their claims at certain points in the review process and authorizes, but does not require, IRS to provide status updates at other times upon written request of the whistleblower. (Code Sec. 6103(k)(13))
IRS update. In response to the Act, IRS has said that the IRS Whistleblower Office will notify a whistleblower when a case for which the whistleblower has provided information has been referred for audit or examination. Notification does not necessarily mean that an audit or examination has been or will be opened. Additionally, notification does not mean the claim will receive an award.
The IRS Whistleblower Office will notify the whistleblower when the taxpayer the whistleblower identified has made a tax payment with respect to which the whistleblower’s information relates. Notification does not mean that the IRS proceeded based on the information the whistleblower provided. A final resolution of all tax matters may take several years from the date of notification of payment. Payments made by the taxpayer do not guarantee an award will be issued.
In addition, the IRS Whistleblower Office will provide written responses to written requests for information on the status and stage of the whistleblower claim submitted by the whistleblower or an individual with a properly executed Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative, on file. The written request must state that the whistleblower or power of attorney is requesting information on the status and stage of their claim and include the claim numbers.
Written requests for information about a whistleblower claim should be mailed to: IRS, 1973 N. Rulon White Blvd., M/S 4110, Ogden, UT 84404.
The IRS Whistleblower Office will only respond in writing to written requests for information about a whistleblower claim. A response will be sent to the current address on file for the whistleblower or to an updated address, if provided.
IRS is in the process of updating Publication 5251, Whistleblower Claim Process and Timeline, to reflect these changes.