Caroline Ciraolo, Principle Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Department of Justice Tax Division, made clear the importance of whistleblower counsel while speaking at the American Bar Association’s National Institute on Criminal Tax Fraud and Institute on Tax Controversy in Las Vegas.  Ms. Ciraolo discussed her announcement earlier this year that the Tax Division would be interested in receiving information from whistleblower’s counsel about mandatory award claims under section 7623(b) that have been submitted to the IRS Whistleblower Office if the claim involves a criminal tax matter.  Ms. Ciraolo cautioned that before bringing information to the Department of Justice that whistleblowers and their counsel should have serious discussions if the whistleblower participated in the reported conduct. 

It is important for whistleblowers to fully understand any consequences that they may have prior to providing information to the IRS, be it liability for additional taxes or potential criminal liability for certain actions.  As everyone’s situation is different this is something that should be discussed with an attorney prior to providing information to the government.

Ms. Ciraolo noted that the Tax Division will not be paying a separate award, nor will it be opening its own whistleblower office.  However, the channels that are used to submit information about civil tax underpayments to the IRS can still be used for criminal tax matters.

  • Linda Williams

    Hi Erica,

    I must admit to being amazed by your article and had to read it several times for the implications to sink in. I’m concerned I’ve misunderstood whats being stated above. Where do I start.

    Under what circumstances can a whistleblower with a Criminal element make a submission to DOJ tax divsion?

    Do IRS Whistleblowers and their attorneys treat the DOJ tax division as their first port of call if there is criminal element to their claim?

    Can a whistleblower go to DOJ tax division if the criminal division either did nothing or is taking its time allegedly investigating a claim?

    What do the IRS and IRS Whistleblower Office think about this new ‘go to’ shop to make a whistleblower submission?

    Do you still have to fill in form 211 if a whistleblower goes straight to DOJ tax division?