IRS Hands Out First Whistleblower Award For Reporting Tax Fraud

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IRS hands out first whistleblower award for reporting tax fraudSquealing on a superior has landed a Pennsylvania accountant a multi-million dollar award.

According to The Associated Press, an in-house accountant has been bestowed the first ever whistleblower award, worth approximately $4.5 million, from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The recipient, whose name has been withheld by his attorney, filed a complaint in 2007 after his employer ignored a tax lapse. The tip helped the IRS recover $20 million in taxes and interest.

The award, which equates to about $3.24 million after taxes, represents a 22 percent cut of the revenue recovered by the IRS. The Whistleblower Office, which was set up in 2006, mandates that payouts should amount to between 15 and 30 percent of the taxes recouped, the media outlet reported.

The Whistleblower Office revealed that it received nearly 1,000 tips in fiscal years 2008 and 2009.

"It's very difficult to be a whistleblower," Eric Young, the Pennsylvania accountant's lawyer, told the news source. "Most people would be inclined to turn a blind eye to it. The process can be time-consuming, arduous and stressful, from both a personal and professional standpoint."

A gridlock on Capitol Hill has forced the IRS to address a more pressing issue this week. In the event of a government shutdown, which was slated to occur if Congress did not approve a spending budget by April 8, refunds for taxpayers would be delayed, officials have confirmed.

Speaking to the National Press Club on April 6, IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said that a shutdown would slow the process of responding to paper returns, according to Bloomberg. However, Shulman stated that a budget standoff will not delay the April 18 deadline for filing 2010 taxes.

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