Scathing GAO Report on Whistleblowers Prompts New Pressure on IRS
In September 2011, the Governmental Accountability Office released its review of the progress being made toward a more efficient whistleblower program within the Internal Revenue Service. The review showed that immediately there was a positive public reaction to the program, with thousands of new whistleblowers coming forward to submit their claims. Problems were arising not because the public failed to get involved, but rather because the IRS was failing to run the program in an efficient and cooperative manner. Cases would be open for years without any signs of progress in recovering tax revenue or even keeping the whistleblowers informed of the status of the investigation. By not informing whistleblowers about the status of their cases, the IRS was risking the potential of future whistleblowers passing on bringing their case to the government because of the backlog. Senator Chuck Grassley, who was the main architect of the modern IRS whistleblower program in 2006, addressed this issue in a recent letter to the IRS, where he pressured the agency to get its act together.
In his critical response to the GAO report, Sen. Grassley celebrates the success of the whistleblower program, while at the same time pressuring the IRS to fix the glaring problems with its efficiency. He especially highlights the need for the IRS to involve the whistleblowers and their attorneys in the investigative process, so that if the agency runs thin on resources, they could gain an advantage in using outside assistance. Grassley points out the wasted opportunity by saying, “the tax cheats shouldn’t be the only ones who can take advantage of outside legal talent. The IRS can’t ask for more resources while ignoring the free resources available.” With Congress trying to find ways to reign in the deficit and uncontrollable spending, he believes that the IRS should be doing its duty by taking every advantage to recover tax revenue that is rightly due to the government.
In these difficult financial times, Grassley believes that there is no greater tool than the whistleblower program. He honestly doesn’t want to see the government miss the opportunity to use the resources it has available to it just because the program is not run in an efficient and timely manner. The GAO report provided a “good service with a road map” as to what the IRS should improve, according to Grassley. By continuing to champion the cause of the whistleblower, the Senator has assured us that he is a man willing to stand with those who are brave enough to come forward against those who seek to fraudulently deceive the government and millions of hard-working American taxpayers. The IRS must institute the recommendations from the GAO report if the agency wants to truly help this country return to the path of fiscal responsibility.
Young Law Group is a nationwide leader in whistleblower representation and has successfully represented numerous clients in some of the nation’s largest qui tam cases for over a decade. For a free confidential consultation, please call Eric L. Young, Esquire at (800) 590-4116 or complete our online form.