Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sen. Grassley Wrongly Targets IRS Whistleblower Office

Following up on last week's post, Sen. Grassley Demands Accounting From IRS Whistleblower Office: Forbes, Keep Heat On IRS Commissioner Shulman; Whistleblowers Needed to Uncover Offshore Tax Abuses:

Senator Charles Grassley sent a strongly worded letter last week to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman criticizing the IRS for the way it is handling various aspects of its whistleblower program. He also blasted the IRS for sending more than a dozen IRS officials – including the director of the IRS Whistleblower Office — to a prominent conference in Miami concerning offshore financial centers.

Whistleblowers and taxpayers are fortunate to have an ardent champion in Sen. Grassley who has consistently pushed and pressured the IRS to engage and reward whistleblowers. But attacking the IRS Whistleblower Office director for attending this particular conference overlooks the value of his presence there. It would be better to keep the fire directed at the top of the IRS rather than at Stephen Whitlock, the IRS Whistleblower Office director, who struggles to make the whistleblower program a success in spite of a hostile bureaucracy and shifting internal policies that undercut creation of a robust program.

There are many critical problems plaguing the IRS whistleblower program.  But the attendance of the director of the Whistleblower Office at the Offshore Alert conference in Miami is not one of them.

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You don't know what you're talking about. Whitlock is a willing participant with the IRS hierarchy in killing whistleblower claims. And Grassley is spot-on with his critical remarks. By the way, the conference in Miami had absolutely nothing to do with attracting whistleblowers to the program. It was a total lark, conducted annually, some of it at taxpayers' expense...until now.

Posted by: Dave | May 14, 2012 3:55:11 PM

A cost / benefit question should be asked by all potential IRS whistleblowers. That question is: “Should I do the right thing and be rewarded or should I keep my job and facilitate the wrong doing”. That risk can only be calculated by knowing the timeline measuring the duration between submitting the wrong doing to the government and reaping the reward money. After the IRS whistleblower submits the wrong doing those timelines continually change and never change to the IRS whistleblower’s benefit.
Potential IRS whistleblowers need to be forewarned that they can be brutally blindsided by IRS government agency lawyers hostile to paying rewards to whistleblowers. IRS government whistleblower program executives are actively engaged in “bait and switch” marketing efforts encouraging IRS whistleblowers to come forward while fully knowing the promise to pay is aggressively thwarted by IRS government legal teams. Potential IRS whistleblowers also need to understand that the rules in place when they submit the information will also change in ways that punish their honesty, erect barriers to reward payments and treat whistleblowers like they are criminals.
So should an honest Accountant, Controller or CFO risk being treated like a gullible sucker and be exposed to prolonged joblessness by naively believing IRS executives’ “bait and switch” sales pitches that whistleblowers are generously rewarded? No.

Posted by: Bubba Shawn | Jun 6, 2012 7:40:36 PM