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Top Ten Tax Enforcement Actions of 2019

Posted  01/17/20
Hundred Dollar Bills with American Flag, and 1040 Tax Form
Tax fraud and tax evasion persist each year in various forms and whistleblowers have been at the forefront in combatting entities and individuals cheating the system. Under the IRS Whistleblower Reward Program, whistleblowers who bring information regarding tax fraud to light that results in a recover of over $2 million can be eligible for a reward between 15 to 30% of the government’s recovery. The IRS...

Tax Whistleblowers Gain New Protections and Collect Over $120 Million in Awards in 2019

Posted  01/10/20
Hundred Dollar Bill
The IRS Whistleblower Program released its FY 2019 Annual Report to Congress this week, sharing details on its continued efforts to improve transparency, enforce whistleblower anti-retaliation provisions, and enhance communications. The IRS Whistleblower office also reported that in 2019:
    • The U.S. collected over $616 million in proceeds attributable to whistleblower information; and
    • The IRS paid over...

Malta’s Ongoing Corruption Scandal Renews Focus on Money Laundering

Posted  12/5/19
Money Hanging on a Clothes Line
The tragic murder of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in 2017 sparked international outrage—and the fear that nothing would be done to discover who was behind her death.  This turns out not to be the case.  After years of persistence from her family and journalist community, Yorgen Fenech, a gambling, real estate, and energy mogul, was arrested on November 20 for complicity in her murder.  He has...

Catch of the Week – B&H Photo Video Sued by NY State for Tax Fraud

Posted  11/15/19
Modern mobile devices
This week’s Catch of the Week brings us back to the Big Apple, where New York Attorney General Letitia James joined a whistleblower lawsuit yesterday accusing the nation’s largest non-chain photo and video equipment retailer, B&H Photo Video, of tax fraud. The suit claims that long-time camera and electronics retailer B&H, which had more than $3 billion in revenue last year, knowingly failed to pay over $7...

How to Become an IRS Whistleblower

Posted  10/16/19
IRS Whistleblower

Answers to Common Questions from Prospective IRS Whistleblowers

Although the New York False Claims Act allows whistleblowers to bring lawsuits based on violations of the state’s tax laws, the federal False Claims Act (FCA) specifically excludes tax claims. Fortunately, the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 created an IRS Whistleblower Office dedicated to working with whistleblowers. Deciding to be a...

Promising Changes to IRS Whistleblower Program – Tax Whistleblowers Now Protected Against Retaliation and Improved Communication when Reporting Tax Violations

Posted  08/21/19
man with red smoke
Recent legislation marks a potential huge step forward for the IRS Whistleblower Program, which offers rewards of 15 to 30% of government recoveries to whistleblowers who report tax avoidance.  The Taxpayer First Act (TFA), which came into force on July 1, 2019 introduced key reforms that should benefit whistleblowers reporting tax evasion and underreporting. A few months ago, the IRS Whistleblower Office released...

Legal Sports Betting Is Leading to Serious Fraud Risks

Posted  05/31/19
man holding cell phone to place sports bet
With the NBA finals upon us, you may be thinking putting down some cash on one team or the other. Thanks to a Supreme Court decision last year, your state may even allow such bets. And no wonder. Illegal sports betting is a gigantic industry—estimated at $150 billion a year, it eclipses the $5 billion legally gambled in Nevada. Much of that money goes into the hands of mafia interests, who increasingly use online...

The Latest on Cryptocurrency, Offshore Tax Avoidance and Money-Laundering, and Whistleblowing: A Report from OffshoreAlert Miami 2019

Posted  05/3/19
Hanging Hundred Dollar Bills on Clothes Line
“A diverse collection of the hunters and the hunted.” That’s how the Wall Street Journal described the OffshoreAlert Conference in 2009. The 2019 conference was no different, bringing together those who work in the offshore industry, the government enforcers who try to stop the unscrupulous among them, and the asset recovery professionals who pursue lost funds. Alongside them were whistleblowers and their...

Annual 2018 IRS Whistleblower Program Report

Posted  03/25/19
IRS Logo with American Eagle
Tax whistleblowers and those who believe that no one should be able to lie, cheat, or buy their way out of paying their tax bills got some good news in the IRS Whistleblower Office’s report last month on the 2018 fiscal year. Notably, the IRS issued 217 whistleblower awards totaling over $312 million, a nearly tenfold increase over the prior year. That’s an enormous shot in the arm for what should be a highly...

Canada Makes First Securities Fraud Whistleblower Award

Posted  03/6/19
Canadian maple leaf flag in cloth with draping
The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) announced last week roughly CAD $7.5 million in whistleblower awards to three individuals who reported violations of Ontario securities laws.  The awards are the first ever by a Canadian securities regulator.  In keeping with its commitment to protecting the confidentiality of whistleblowers, the OSC did not disclose any information that might reveal the whistleblowers'...
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