IRS Whistleblower Officials Explain Details of New IRS Whistleblower Rewards Program

IRS officials explained long-awaited details of how the new IRS Whistleblower Rewards Program will work to whistleblower attorneys gathered last week at the annual Taxpayers Against Fraud Conference in Washington.

This whistleblower lawyer blog author had the pleasure of appearing with the Director of the new IRS Whistleblower Office, Stephen Whitlock, in a panel discussion on the new IRS Whistleblower Program. I enjoyed spending time with Director Whitlock and with the other participants, Professor Dennis Ventry of American University’s Washington College of Law, and attorneys Erika Kelton and Paul Scott. (Paul Scott, our moderator, deserves special thanks put putting together an extremely useful and informative program).

Later, before a second IRS Whistleblower presentation, I enjoyed having lunch and a long discussion of the particulars of the new IRS Whistleblower Program with two other IRS officials: Stuart Mann, one of the lead IRS officials with responsibility over the Financial Services industry, Large and Mid-Size Business Division (LMSB), which includes corporations, subchapter S corporations, and partnerships with assets greater than $10 million; and Nicole Cammarota, who is also with the IRS LMSB Division and who I understand is working on the new IRS Whistleblower regulations.

The Large and Mid-Sized Business Division of the IRS is dealing with IRS Whistleblower claims concerning these larger entities, which can involve very substantial tax liability. The IRS has divided its LMSB Division into five industry subgroups: (1) Communications, Technology, and Media; (2) Financial Services; (3) Heavy Manufacturing and Transportation; (4) Natural Resources and Construction; and (5) Retailers, Food, Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare.

The Financial Services group at the IRS is based at the Manhattan IRS Office at 290 Broadway (near City Hall). Its responsibilities include tax issues relating to commercial banking, savings and loans, life insurance, property & casualty insurance, securities and private pools of capital, including hedge funds and private equity.

After our lunch, Mr. Mann and Ms. Cammarota discussed with the larger group their observations about the new IRS Whistleblower Program, in a panel discussion with Marcella Auerbach and Brian Kenney, led by David Stone. The Director of the IRS Whistleblower Office, Stephen Whitlock, also attended and chimed in about his own areas of responsibility, apparently to make sure the IRS is giving consistent direction about the new Whistleblower Program overall.