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“IRS could still do more for its whistleblower program, tax attorneys say”

Phillips & Cohen whistleblower attorney Edward Arens is quoted in an article published in MLex’s Tax Watch, explaining why the SEC whistleblower program is more effective than the IRS whistleblower program:

… the IRS whistleblower program pales in comparison to younger programs at the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, according to Edward H. Arens of Phillips & Cohen LLC in California.

One important distinction is that the SEC permits its enforcement staff to seek assistance from whistleblowers directly, Arens wrote in a January 2017 report in Bloomberg BNA titled “Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due: Requiring the IRS to Properly Attribute Its Recoveries to Whistleblowers.” 

… Arens said the IRS currently uses the office as a clearinghouse for whistleblower information, not to examine such claims … the IRS program serves as a gatekeeper, Arens says, keeping whistleblowers and IRS examiners separate, which harms tax enforcement efforts. 

…the design of the SEC program “is more likely than the IRS to reach an accurate result in award determinations because its processes for whistleblower information are simpler and more transparent,” Arens wrote.

Read the article in full on MLex’s website (subscription required). 

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