Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, is questioning the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department about why they are taking so long to process and pay tax whistleblower rewards.
Grassley wrote to IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman and the Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, asking them to answer a detailed series of questions aimed at understanding why the IRS whistleblower office has been so slow in processing cases and making rewards. In the letter, he expressed his “extreme disappointment in the management of the program” in a letter to the agency.
“The IRS does not have a problem attracting whistleblowers,” Grassley said. “The IRS has a problem processing whistleblower information and compensating whistleblowers in a timely manner. I’m hearing frustration from whistleblowers, and my worst fears are coming true. The lack of progress is demoralizing whistleblowers, and they might stop coming forward. That would be a bad outcome for the taxpayers.”
Grassley’s latest inquiry was prompted in part by revelations that the director of the IRS whistleblower program was a panelist at the Offshore Alert Conference at the Ritz-Carlton in Miami Beach. “It seems the whistleblower office director’s time might be better spent reviewing hundreds of existing cases instead of attending a conference that isn’t directed at potential whistleblowers,” Grassley said.
Grassley wrote the 2006 law improving the IRS whistleblower office. He modeled the improvements after the successful 1986 whistleblower amendments to the federal False Claims Act, which have brought back more than $30 billion to the federal treasury and deterred even more fraudulent activity.
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