Who is the Whistleblower Office?

Congress established the IRS Whistleblower Office in December, 2006 by passing the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006.  This law made the Whistleblower Office responsible for administering the informant award program established under section 7623 of the Internal Revenue Code.  Stephen Whitlock was named as the Director of this new office in February 2007.  The Whistleblower Office’s main responsibility is processing tips about possible underpayments of tax – what the IRS calls “non-compliance” – received from individuals.  After determining whether the tips are credible and that they present a possible legitimate tax issue, the Whistleblower Office assigns the case to the appropriate IRS division for further investigation.  In other words, the Whistleblower Offices serves as a gatekeeper, processing and forwarding credible tips for further IRS investigation.  The Whistleblower Office does not perform field audits and does not prosecute criminal violations of internal revenue laws.

Section 7623

Congress gave the Whistleblower Office the authority to pay informants awards out of the proceeds collected by the IRS as a result of the information provided by the informant.  The Whistleblower Office also makes the final determination as to whether an award will be paid.  If the Whistleblower Office determines an award is to be paid to an informant, the Whistleblower Office also determines the dollar amount of the award.   The Whistleblower Office bases the amount of the award on the value of the information furnished by the information as a percentage of the proceeds collected from the non-compliant taxpayer.