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IRS Announces Review of Whistleblower Program

In a memorandum dated June 20, 2012, Deputy Commissioner Steven Miller announced that the Services and Enforcement Division of the IRS will be conducting a comprehensive review of the Service's Whistleblower Program to address concerns that inefficient operating guidelines and procedures prevent timely action. The memo states that he will be consulting with affected parties both within and outside of the IRS to understand key issues from both sides.

Further, the memo sets forth some temporary guidelines to be followed until the review is complete and new procedures are implemented. The temporary guidelines state that the Whistleblower Officer should complete the initial evaluation of claims within 90 days, the Operating Division or Criminal Investigation should complete expert subject matter review within 90 days of referral, and that whistleblowers should be notified of an award decision within 90 days of when collected proceeds can be finally determined. Commissioner Miller makes it clear that these guidelines are flexible and subject to various exceptions depending on the facts and circumstances of each situation.

The IRS Whistleblower Office works with individuals who allege tax compliance issues to develop leads and insight into suspicious taxpayer activity. Streamlined procedures and guidelines will allow the Service to take better advantage of the information provided by whistleblowers, potentially resulting in an increased number of civil audits and criminal investigations.

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