IRS Paid $125 million to whistleblowers in government fraud settlements in 2012

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by Eric Pearson

In 2012, the IRS paid over $125 million to whistleblowers. By law, whistleblowers can collect up to 30% of what the IRS recovers as a result of their tips. “The IRS believes that the whistleblower statute provides a valuable tool to combat tax non-compliance, and this award reflects our commitment to the law,” the agency said in a statement.

The substantial amount paid in 2012 was due in large part to a single $104 million payment made to a former UBS banker, the largest reward in U.S. history. Bradley Birkenfeld had described for the U.S. Justice Department how the largest Swiss bank had come to the U.S. to woo rich Americans into allowing the company to help them shield their assets from the IRS.

Birkenfeld’s information helped pave the way for a 2009 settlement between the IRS and UBS under which the bank agreed to pay $780 million in penalties and turn over the account information of thousands of American clients. Since then, over 35,000 Americans have since participated in amnesty programs to repatriate their offshore accounts, netting the government over $5 billion in back taxes, fines and penalties.

The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have previously represented an IRS whistleblower who received substantial rewards from the government totaling nearly $2 million. We have the financial resources, experience and expertise to assist whistleblowers who have information regarding fraud or other wrongdoing against the government or a government agency. Such persons may be entitled to a large cash reward if their information leads to a government recovery. To find out if you are eligible, call us toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or fill out our free online case evaluation form, and one of our representatives will contact you for more information.