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IRS Whistleblower Awards Increased Last Year

S.J. Steinhardt
Published Date:
Jul 11, 2023

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) awarded whistleblowers more money last year than in the previous fiscal year, but less than it had in previous years, its Whistleblower Office reported.

In FY 2022, the IRS paid whistleblowers 132 awards totaling $37.8 million from proceeds collected of $172.7 million. The total dollar amount of awards paid increased from FY 2021, when $36.1 million in awards were paid. The total number of awards paid in FY 2022, however, decreased from 179 in FY 2021 to 132 in FY 2022. Awards paid as a percentage of proceeds collected increased from 14.7 percent in FY 2021 to 21.9 percent in FY 2022

Those numbers are considerably less than the high reached in FY 2016, when $312.2 million in claims were paid.

In FY 2022, the Whistleblower Office received 5,084 submissions and built 12,597 claims. That is similar to FY 2021, when 5,080 submissions were received and 14,045 claims were built.

Unreported/under reported income was the top allegation submitted via Form 211, Application for Award for Original Information, in FY 2022. It was followed by failure to file tax or information return, wage under reporter, various forms of fraud, overstated/false deductions, and five others.

In his introduction to the report, Director John W. Hinman wrote that his office will be making efforts to improve the program. Those efforts include “increasing the capacity for claim submissions that the IRS can act on, using high-value whistleblower information effectively, rewarding whistleblowers fairly and as soon as possible, keeping whistleblowers informed of the status of their claim and the basis for IRS decisions on claims, and strengthening collaboration with Whistleblower Program stakeholders.”

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