crsThe Congressional Research Service (“CRS”) updated a report on tax havens to reflect new revenue-raising estimates for proposals for reducing international tax evasion.  The report, updated last week, noted that estimates of revenue losses from corporate profit shifting are as high as $90 billion per year and may even be higher.  The report also said that corporate profit shifting “appears to have increased substantially in recent years” explaining further that “[e]vasion is often a problem of lack of information, and remedies may include resources for enforcement, along with incentives and sanctions designed to increase information sharing, and possibly a move towards greater withholding.”  In many ways, the IRS starts behind the eight-ball in tax enforcement efforts.  It is no secret that the information asymmetry that exists between the IRS and taxpayers is a major obstacle to collection efforts.  Even though the IRS has broad authority to demand information from taxpayers, they don’t always know what to ask for or where to look for the information they need.  This is precisely where whistleblowers can step in with key information that will level the tax enforcement playing field.  As corporate tax evasion continues to be hot topic politically and internationally, pressure is building on the IRS to collect taxes owed by tax evaders using a reduced budget and scarce resources.  Efficiently reducing the information gap between the IRS and tax evaders may just be a matter of the IRS turning to whistleblowers for enforcement help.

  • KPCOR

    Isn’t it clear the IRS has no interest in pursuing WB cases– or said differently, it has an affirmative interest in NOT pursuing them, for WB cases give outsiders a window into an inept (and likely corrupt) IRS?

    http://taxprof.typepad.com/files/letter-2.pdf

    Ms Kim is both brave and 100% correct. I can provide at least 5 other high value sell outs to connected people/corporations, all the while the IRS whining about resource shortage.

    People like Ferraro must either fix this WB program by higlighting egregious IRS conduct or it should be shut down as a dismal failure.

  • Linda Williams

    The IRS Whistleblower Program is a bit like one of those old mining towns on the edge of the Colorado Rockies in the late 1890’s that the railroad has passed by, inhabited by tumbleweed and a few hardy soles still hanging on in the blind faith that some day the silver mine will start producing again ……but never does.

    After 8 years there are still a few hardy soles out there who think the IRS Whistleblower Program is going to come good…………problem is the railroad has passed the IRS Whistleblower Program by and their going to be waiting a long long time for an IRS Whistleblower Program that’s never going to come good.

    Even Senator Grassley and his chief advisors have lost interest. Remember all the letters the Senator sent and the ensuing “roundtable” discussions his staff had with the IRS 2 years ago?

  • Disappointed Whistleblower

    Do not expect the US Tax Court to help as we have been waiting for them to rule in Insinga since May on the simple issue of standard and scope of review. The US Supreme Court takes an average of 81 days to issue an opinion after oral argument. Eight months to rule on a motion is a joke. Do they know that there is no provision for interest in the WB statute? They are giving every incentive for the IRS to grind away in tax court by the OCC to not pay legitimate claims. Most Whistleblowers are getting the shaft three times by their employers, the IRS and now the Tax Court.

  • Bubba Shawn

    Disapointed has a good point. I think Albert Hill’s TC petition is still open from 11/17/2010.

    Even with Commissioner Koskinen being a fan of whistleblowers and calling us a “Godsend”, it seems as if IRS whistleblowers can never get a decent break from the IRS. Scott has said more than once that IRS whistleblowers VS. IRS is an adversarial relationship. That really shouldn’t be the case. But it sure is.

    Director Whitlock is quoted saying that 2015 will be a year of more and larger awards. He was correct last years when he announce $50 million in award payments. So I guess we can believe him and hope that 2015 is the year we will finally get paid after seven and a half years.