|IRS whistleblower program 'needs reforms to thrive'|
Legislation aimed at improving the IRS Whistleblower Program would reduce processing delays, end double taxation for attorney fees, and remove budget sequestration, argues Stephen Kohn, founding partner of law firm Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto. The program has recovered over $6.6bn from tax cheats and non-compliant corporations, paying $1.1bn to whistleblowers. However, collections have dropped, and delays for award claims have reached nearly 11 years. The IRS Whistleblower Program Improvement Act of 2023 proposes technical reforms, including imposing interest on delayed awards, ending budget sequestration, eliminating double taxation of attorney fees, and implementing de novo review in award case appeals. Mr. Kohn argues that these reforms are crucial to restore trust and incentivize whistleblowers, particularly as comparable programs, such as the SEC Whistleblower Program, have seen record years of late. He concludes that to effectively enforce tax laws and close the tax gap, Congress must pass the IRS Whistleblower Improvement Act.