The Internal Revenue Service paidfewer than 100 whistleblowers last year, about half the number it paid two years ago, even though it received more than twice the number of whistleblower cases.
In a recently released fiscal year 2010 report to Congress, the IRS reported that it received 7,577 whistleblower cases under Code Sec. 7623(a), but paid out only 97 awards. In fiscal 2008, the IRS received 3,704 cases and paid out 198 awards. Many cases, it noted in the report, can take several years to settle.
The IRS paid only a few more awards in fiscal 2009 than in fiscal 2010 - 110 awards, which was also a drop from fiscal 2008.
"The number and amount of awards paid each year can vary significantly, especially when a small number of high-dollar claims are resolved in one year (as in 2006 and 2008)," the agency explained. "One factor contributing to the lower payments was a change in the definition of the point at which proceeds in a tax case are available to make an award payment. In the past, the IRS monitored the tax case to ensure that it collected proceeds before processing the award claim. Where the taxpayer filed an administrative or judicial appeal, the IRS did not pay claims until the court finally resolved the appeal."
The total amount paid in 2010 was $18,746,327, far higher than the $5,851,608 in 2009, but still below the more-than-$24 million in 2006, and $22 million in 2008.
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