The U.S. Tax Court has proposed amending its rules and procedures for whistleblower award actions.
In 2006, Congress amended Section 7623 of the Tax Code by adding a new subsection that authorizes the Whistleblower Office of the IRS to determine the amount of awards to whistleblowers based on a percentage of the tax collected. The subsection gives the court jurisdiction over appeals of award determinations. The Tax Court has proposed amending the rules to provide procedures for commencing a whistleblower award action.
Among the proposed changes are references to actions for re-determination of employment status, determination of relief from joint and several liability, and lien or levy. Another new rule requires that the petition contain only the name, state of legal residence, and mailing address of an individual, as one subsection provides that a whistleblower award may be made to an individual, which would exclude awards to a trust, partnership, association, company or corporation.
A proposed rule adopts the pleading procedures used in most types of actions before the court. Another proposal states that a rule can be amended to authorize service by electronic means, but only if written consent is obtained from the person served.
The Tax Court is inviting public comment on the proposed amendments. Written comments must be received by July 31, 2008, and should be addressed to Robert R. Di Trolio, Clerk of the Court, U.S. Tax Court, 400 2nd St., N.W., Room 111, Washington, D.C. 20217.
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